series of examinations at Amherst College, with the purpose of noting the progress of near-sight in the same class and in the same individuals. The freshman and sophomore classes—1,880 and 1,879—were required to report to him; and twenty-seven per cent, of the former and twenty-eight per cent, of the latter were found to be near-sighted. In the fall of 1876 they were again examined, when the disease was found to have progressed in one-half the number of those previously found to be myopic. In January, 1877, he examined the eyes of 122 volunteers from the freshman class of Harvard College—a little more than half the class—of whom 29.5 per cent, were found to be near-sighted. Of these, twenty-two per cent, had supposed their sight to be normal. He describes his blank-printed forms as—
In his report to President Eliot, he urges the advantages to the student of—
His report closes with an illustration of the development of near-sight in a person born free from it, but inheriting a strong tendency to it. During nine years—from the age of ten to nineteen—suggestions several times offered with regard to rest and treatment having been unheeded, a progressive change had occurred, ranging from perfect soundness in one eye, and a very slight degree—represented by "0.75"—of near-sight in the other, to a high degree of near-sight, represented by "5.50" in each. If advice and warning are still unheeded, he thinks "an amount of structural change may be brought about incompatible with the integrity of the eye through life."
But while it appears to be conceded that near-sight is of infrequent occurrence among the illiterate classes, the question is a very natural one, "Have examinations been made, for comparison, of the eyes of any classes of young persons other than those engaged in study?" Dr. Cohn examined the eyes of many peasant-children, living in a state of comparative simplicity, and having little or no occasion to tax or strain the sight, and found that hardly two in a hundred of them were near-sighted. Examinations have been made also of the sight of young factory-operatives in large manufacturing towns in Europe, and the results exhibit a low percentage of myopia, corresponding to that of the peasant-children here cited. Dr. Howe says:
- Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 22, 1877.