by Adriana Spencer
As a college student, it’s always a tad bit difficult to try to pay attention to whatever comes my way. With professors shoving projects and exams down my throat, to family drama that seems like it should come out of a Spanish soap opera, and not to mention the stress of trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life after I finish college, I don’t have time to really stop and think about what I’m doing. I just tend to follow my daily routine in a stoic haze, with a face and attitude that many of my peers have dubbed “zombie-like.”
However, it is still possible for me to snap out of this mind-numbing funk if I come across something that is completely out of the blue, like a bear riding a clown that is riding a unicycle. But since that would be a rare sight to see, finding funny and interesting documents while scanning can also bring a smile to my face.
Recently, as I was perusing through the various documents that I had to scan, I came across an interesting news clipping concerning a new electro-chemical method for treating poor vision. At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me (please forgive the corny pun), but as I read through the article, I realized that this was actually legitimate.
The article focused on the work of Dr. Gustav Erlanger’s new method, as it explained how it can help cure eyesight, both chemically and organically. In the news clipping, Dr. Erlanger stated that a person’s eyesight could be improved by introducing a chemical substance into the eye by means of an electric current. The treatment, known as iontophorosis, is said to break up the chemical substance into electrified particles or ions, and carry them into the desired area that needed to be repaired. As the article went on, it was reported that the treatment was going fairly well for many of his patients, even going as far as curing color blindness if only the center of the eye was afflicted.
From reading the article, it was apparent that Dr. Erlanger’s treatment was becoming highly recommended, as Martha Berry tried to seek out his services. Miss Berry sent a letter to Dr. Erlanger, asking if this treatment would benefit in treating the cataracts in her eyes, as well as for information about what causes cataracts and what can be done about them. She also sent some literature about the Berry Schools along with the letter, to inform Dr. Erlanger about her work.
Unfortunately, Dr. Erlanger was not able to help Ms. Berry with his treatment. In a follow-up letter, Dr. Erlanger tells Ms. Berry that it is “impossible to give an opinion” about her cataract treatment unless another doctor can see to her case; although, he was able to give her a little bit of information about cataracts and if it was possible to treat them. He also promised Martha Berry a copy of his book focusing on ophthalmology when reprints were ready so as she can become well informed over the topic.
Even though this was an incredible find and amazing to hear about a breakthrough in medicinal science, I was left a bit skeptical about this procedure. I come from a medically associated family, with both parents having jobs in the medical field and various relatives sharing knowledge about the human body. I’ve even picked up a medical journal or two for fun, and never have I heard something that could possibly cure color blindness. Although I do not doubt that doctors and scientists were exploring how far science could go to cure numerous illnesses to the mind and body, it still seems pretty surreal that someone could find a way to cure vision, much less color blindness! How would you react to something like this?
Despite feeling skeptical about this treatment, it did give me something to laugh about and think over for the rest of my day. This article brought a touch of light and laughter to my dark and mundane lifestyle and for that I am happy.