Augustin Prichard’s Research On Stuff That Get Stuck in People’s Eyes

Every day, we encounter fine particles that graze and stick to our skin, our eyes, nose, and other parts of the body into which these foreign objects squeeze themselves until such time that we wash them off and get rid of them. An eye surgeon in the 19th century, Augustin Prichard had been fascinated with the different objects that get caught in the eyes and did research on them.

In one particular case, he notes that there was a piece of vegetable stuck in a man’s eye causing it to secrete pus. Upon investigating a bit further, Prichard found out the interesting backstory of how the vegetable got into the man’s eye.

A few days before, he met and entered into conversation with a friend (a butcher’s boy), carrying a bullock’s paunch in his hand. From words they came to blows, and my patient was brought down by a heavy flap in the face from his adversary’s disagreeable weapon. His eye was painful, and intolerant of light, from that time until the substance was removed, when it speedily recovered.

(Image credit: Thomas Morris)

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