Congenital cataract surgery during the early enlightenment period and the stepkins oculists

Christopher T. Leffler, Stephen Schwartz, Byrd Davenport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

From antiquity through the Renaissance, congenital blindness was generally regarded as incurable, as noted in both medical and lay publications. The earliest reference to congenital cataract surgery that we identified, reported in 1663, referred to an 18-year-old female treated by English oculist John Stepkins (d. 1652). An examination of the literature related to the Stepkins family reveals the presence of male and female oculists during that period, including his daughter, Lady Theodosia Ivy. Eye waters attributed to Stepkins contained tutty (an oxide of zinc), roses, sugar candy, and other ingredients. Interestingly, John Thomas Woolhouse, the author of the next identified report of congenital cataract surgery in 1706, stated that he was related to Stepkins. Woolhouse reported by 1721 that he had performed 36 congenital cataract surgeries, with the youngest patient being 18 months of age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-884
Number of pages2
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Volume132
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Cataract
Candy
Zinc Oxide
Blindness
Nuclear Family
Publications
Water
Renaissance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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Congenital cataract surgery during the early enlightenment period and the stepkins oculists. / Leffler, Christopher T.; Schwartz, Stephen; Davenport, Byrd.

In: JAMA Ophthalmology, Vol. 132, No. 7, 01.01.2014, p. 883-884.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Leffler, Christopher T. ; Schwartz, Stephen ; Davenport, Byrd. / Congenital cataract surgery during the early enlightenment period and the stepkins oculists. In: JAMA Ophthalmology. 2014 ; Vol. 132, No. 7. pp. 883-884.
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