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Gesnerus. 1990;47 Pt 1:21-30.

[Felix Platter (1536-1614) as ophthalmologist].

[Article in German]


Felix Platter, physician and anatomist, had a keen interest in ophthalmology, too. By his wife, he was related to a family of surgeons; this may have brought him into closer contact with eye diseases and their cure. Platter was the first physician to attribute the sensory power of the eye to the retina and a purely optical function to the lens (humor crystallinus). The present author mentions two original observations of his: the symptomatology of posterior vitreous detachment (observed in his own myopic left eye) and a case of blindness due to compression of the optic nerves by a cranial tumour (tuberculoma). In a more comprehensive way, he discusses Platter's ideas on cataract (suffusio) and its treatment. Platter observed congenital cataract and was the first to notice that professional working near a fire (as in the case of alchemists!) may eventually lead to cataract (glass-workers' cataract, according to modern terminology).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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