Vitamin Therapy in Otolaryngological Conditions

Four considerations now operate to foster the use of vitamins in otolaryngological practice, thinks G. M. Koepcke, M.D., Minneapolis. They are: (1) sounder, better work by investigators, (2) the visual photometer for vitamin A deficiency, (3) urinalysis and the capillary fragility test for vitamin C, and (4) to a lesser degree, the heart rate test for vitamin B.

Vitamin deficiencies, Koepcke holds, are now all but established as causative factors in respiratory infections, while infections of the nose, throat and sinuses, must be considered in the light of avitaminoses. Though vitamins must not be regarded as “cure-alls”, nevertheless, they form a useful and necessary adjunct to other treatments and preventive measures. Bircher-Benner, for instance, declares that neither prophylaxis nor therapeutics will be wholly successful if there is a vitamin deficiency.

Lowered resistance is probably due to avitaminosis A and C. Avitaminosis A substitutes stratified keratinizing epithelium for normal epithelium in the respiratory tract; and Mackie believes infections of the eyes, tonsils, sinuses, buccal and lingual mucosa, and the skin, are due to the avitaminosis A. Glands of internal secreion, particularly, seem dependent on vitamin A.

Tislowitz has treated diphtheria circulatory weakness with the adrenal ortical extract.

Treatment: The nutritional type of corneal ulcers respond very well to vitamin therapy. There is pain, scratching and soreness of the eye; small punctuate areas of ulceration are seen near the limbus. These coalesce after a few days, and corneal destruction progresses rapidly. Balanced combinations of vitamins reinforced by additional vitamins A and B stimulate healing and ulceration ceases.

Congenital cataract likewise yields to vitamin treatment if it is well fortified with vitamins A and C.

The convalescent period following severe acute inflammation is shortened if vitamin therapy is used; while herpezoster ophthalmia should be treated with vitamin B1.

If a patient complains of sensitivity to light, Koepcke recommends administration of vitamin A for several weeks, saying that he, himself, is usually able to estimate the amount required from his own clinical observations.

In sphenopalatine neurosis, the extreme pain an discomfort are speedily eased by administration of Vitamin B1.

Acute sinusitis, Koepcke, advises, responds well to vitamin A plus combined concentrates; but the vitamins merely augment the routine treatment. The period needed to establish immunity to the predominating organism in the infection is much shortened, allowing quicker surgical intervention with less danger of extension of infection. The healing period is “surprisingly short”. The vitamin A and concentrate must be given in large doses.

In general, Koepcke concludes, vitamins may be regarded as food for the endocrines, as good preoperative strengtheners of systemic resistance, and excellent curative agents in the conditions cited above. Surgical intervention is, of course, resorted to where indicated.

________________ *Koepcke, G. M., Vitamins and Infections of the Eye, Nose, Throat and Sinuses, Journal-Lancet (Oct.) 1937.


Dental Trailers

            The State of Louisiana, following a year of experiments with a trailer dental clinic, is planning to expand its traveling dental service. A fleet of seven specially equipped trailer coaches has been ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health.

The trailers are being equipped with glass skylight, dental chairs, running water, cabinets, wardrobe closets and special dental equipment. The trailers special dental equipment. The trailers are to be painted a distinctive color, matching the color of the automobiles pulling them.

Cooperating in equipping the trailers are the Ritter Dental Manufacturing Co., of Rochester, N.Y.; the Davidson Dental Supply Co., of New Orleans; and Evans Motors of Louisiana.