He used salt as eye medicine- story of superstitions and mispractices in remote parts of Nepal

Remote Nepal and superstitions


A few months earlier, A patient from one of the remote parts of the Rukum district of Nepal came to me for Eye Checkup. He was in so much pain that he was literally talking to himself. He would not open his eyes and those eyes were tightly shut. I tried having verbal conversations as I thought he was partially deaf too. I Made some gesturesafter I shouted loudly from a few distances to ask what made him in so much pain.
I put a few drops of topical anesthetics eyedrops in his eye. He literally shouted like I put some red chilly powder in his eyes. The xylocaine eye drops are used to remove the foreign body attached to the cornea or other external parts of the eyeball. He didn't respond to me for like 10 minutes. After some time, he opened his eyelids and I could see his cornea and reddish inflamed conjunctiva. 
I told him to put his chin on the chin rest of this machine we use called Slit-Lamp Biomicroscope. We use this machine to zoom in and see the structures of the eye. I could see his eyes as red as a red tomato. 
I asked him about the cause of injury or what happened to his eyes. He told me Something, and it shocked me to know the reason for that redness and his extreme pain.
He could talk, that was the weirdest part. He could hear fine, that was so good to hear. Shouting to patients, Old patients to be specific, is a nightmare🤣. They do not have hearing aids or would ever buy one. The patient sitting outside of the OPD would think, "I am an awful guy who would shout to an old man🤣." I could understand that he had so much pain that he lost his consciousness of hearing or talking for a bit.
I did a comprehensive examination of his eyeball. I came to realize that the topmost layer of the eye was eroded; the non-medical person would call it the black part of the eyeball. The Exposed nerves on the cornea were causing him extreme pain. I suggested to him the reasons for his pain. Xylocaine Eye drop was working like a charm as he was a lot calm afterward. He even praised me for curing his pain in like 4 minutes. I told him what I would put in his eyes but he was a village old man from the remote area, and I hardly believe he understood anything I said. I had to cure his abrasion, Took him to the minor Operation theater, and cleaned his eye with some Normal saline solution. There was some crystal-like structure in his eye. I tightly padded his eyes being closed with eye ointment and Pupil dilating drop.
He was so relaxed and stayed with us for the next 30 minutes telling his story. I was so curious to ask him the cause for the crystal structure in his eye. People of this remote place often perform pedantic acts of traditional superstitions. I knew he had done something weird with his eyes. I asked him about the cause of his injury for the second time(Firstly in the OPD). He told, he works with metals and hammers. He was resting a piece of a rod on another piece of metal while his friend was hitting the metal with a hammer. Suddenly, he felt like something went into his eyes. He knew it was a piece of metal. It didn't hurt that much, "he said". Later that night, he could not sleep, "he added". Tomorrow morning he woke up and saw his eyes and could see nothing in his eyes. He had cataracts in both of his eyes. He told a friend of his to see if there was anything in his eyes.
His friend told him that there is a piece of metal in the eye's black. The old man did not understand where to go and whom to ask for treatment. His friend told him to put some salt in his eye before sleeping at night. He did what he was suggested. He could not sleep that night. He continued doing stupid things for a few days. He went to see a local pharmacy, and they gave him some eye drops. They referred him to the Eye Care Centre. 
We at Eye Centre, yearly, organize training for Local pharmacists to refer eye patients giving them antibiotic eye drops. We train and teach them not to prescribe any drops without knowing facts about them. What happened to him was something that nobody should suffer. I have this habit of seeing the eyes of people whenever I walk on the road. Some diseases could be identified, and we do not need Equipment. I suggest people on the spot come to the eye center for treatment. I have referred to so many cases of Lazy eyes seeing diverging eyes of small children;, I have referred many cases of the leading cause of blindness like cataract.
It was an awkward experience for me. It doesn't amaze me anymore as people often come with practices like that and I work so hard to teach them in every way that they would understand. Even a single person in a village knowing facts about false practices could teach others not to perform such foolish acts. 

Here is the video of me recording, some questions I asked him.


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