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Editor,—Methanol intoxication is a severe and often blinding disease. Irreversible visual loss may occur within hours to days after ingestion. Treatment regimens are aimed at controlling acid-base balance, removing the toxic agent by haemodialysis, or using ethanol solution as a competitive drug. If treatment is delayed beyond the first hours after ingestion, permanent damage to the optic pathways may occur. We report on successful treatment of methanol (methyl alcohol) induced blindness with late steroids and vitamin B-1.
A 40-year-old man was admitted to our eye department with sudden bilateral visual loss. He was generally healthy except that he was a heavy smoker and consumed alcohol regularly. During a period of 4–10 days before admission, the patient consumed pure methanol used for cleaning metal electrical wires. One day before admission, the patient complained of vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain; however, a complete medical examination in the emergency room was inconclusive and his vision was not affected. On admission, physical and neurological examination were normal. Ophthalmic examination revealed visual acuity of hand movements in the right eye and 50 cm counting fingers in the left eye. Ocular examination was normal except for mild dilatation of the pupils which reacted sluggishly to light. No funduscopic abnormalities were observed. One day …
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