Islamic physicians displayed particular concern and skill in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases, perhaps because blindness was the major cause of disability throughout the Islamic lands.Often,illnesses of the eye developed because of the wind constantly blowing sand in the eyes of the local people.Nearly every medical compendium had chapters on eye diseases,but the most comprehensive coverage was to be found in the large number of monographs devoted solely.
to the subject.In the 9th century the physician-translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq wrote monographs on ophthalmology, including the influential Ten Treatises on the Eyethat showed considerable advancement in knowledge over that in the Greco-Roman treatises preserved today.One of the most highly regarded of ophthalmological manuals was that covering 130 eye ailments written by `Ali ibn ` Isa al-Kahhal (d. 1010/400 H)who practiced in Baghdad. For reasons as yet unknown, there was during the 12th and 13th centuries unprecedented interest in composing Arabic treatises on ophthalmology.In Spain Muhammad ibn Qassum ibn Aslam alGhafiqi,of whom essentially nothing is known, wrote a Guide to Ophthalmology that was illustrated with instruments. In Cairo the oculist Fath al-Din al- Qaysi, who died in 1259 (657 H)wrote The Result of Thinking about the Cure of Eye Diseases(Natijat al- fikar fi ` ilaj amrad al- basar). Al- Qaysi was one of a three-generation family of court physicians in Cairo and was himself `Chief of Physicians' in Egypt and physician to two Ayyubid rulers, including Saladin.
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