A Survey of the Ideas of Some Great Iranian Sages on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pterygium

Document Type: Review Article


1 M.Sc. Student in the History of Medical Sciences, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of the History of Medical Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences. Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Eye Surgery, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

4 Instructor, Department of the History of Medicine, Arak University of Medical Sciences. Arak, Iran

5 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Abadeh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Abadeh, Iran

6 Professor, Department of Physiology, School of Paramedical Sciences, Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran


Background: Pterygium is one of the eye diseases that have been a subject of interest since ancient times. The aim of this study was to trace back the methods of diagnosis and treatment of pterygium throughout the history of Islamic civilization and to learn about the drugs and the related surgical instruments used to treat it.
Methods: We searched all available reliable electronic and published sources for the views of ancient Iranian physicians including Avicenna, Rhazes, Jurjani, and compared them with what has been mentioned about this disease in recent medical literature.
Results: As Islamic countries were among the regions with pterygium outbreak, it received much attention by Islamic scholars and many discoveries and innovations were made by Iranian-Islamic sages. Especially in the treatment of the disease, they outdid their Greek counterparts. Among these scholars, Rhazes in Al-Hawi, Haly Abbas in Kamel al Sanaye, Avicenna in Al-Qanun fi Tibb, Jurjani in Kharazmshahi Treasure and Jesu Haly in Tazkarat al Kahhalin have suggested highly detailed and practical prescriptions for the disease showing their ingenuity and their careful clinical examination many of which are still valid in modern medicine for the treatment of the disease.
Conclusion: Unlike today's treatment of a disease which is based on a single protocol, in Islamic - Iranian traditional medicine a disease might be treated differently according to the temperament and characteristics of each individual patient. In addition, the doctors would not isolate the affected part from other parts of the body or mind and they always would first thoroughly cleanse the body and then they would start the treatment.


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