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Much the same result is obtained by an analysis of the invalidity cases to which the fund was applied during the same period, as shown by the following table: a

Number of cases of miners' nystagmus to which invalidity insurance fund of Bochum

Miners' Union was applied, 1905–1913.

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According to this table the invalidity rate on account of miners' nystagmus was 1.75 per 1,000 during the first 5 years and 1.70 per 1,000 during the last 4 years covered by the table. The reduction in the number of cases during 1913 is even more marked as regards invalidity cases than as regards sickness cases. The table includes a column showing the cases of nystagmus with secondary complications, and the proportion of such cases to the total number of miners entitled to invalidity annuities on account of temporary or permanent wageearning incapacity as a result of nystagmus. The percentages show a wide range, from a minimum of 8.1 in 1909 to 23.1 in 1905. The percentages, of course, would be affected by special causes such as, for illustration, bronchial catarrh, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases influenced by season. Out of a total of 5,113 cases of miners' nystagmus during 1905–1913, 695, or 13.6 per cent, were complicated by other causes or diseases, as follows: Other eye diseases, 262, or 5.1 per cent of the total number of nystagmus cases; other diseases of conjunctive tissue membrane and eyelids, 68, or 1.3 per cent; pulmonary emphysema and asthma, 104, or 2 per cent; acute and chronic articular rheumatism, 81, or 1.6 per cent; muscular rheumatism, 68, or 1.3 per cent; other causes or diseases, 367, or 7.2 per cent. To the pathologist, the significant fact brought out by these statistics is the large number of cases complicated by other diseases of the eye ball or of the conjunctive tissue membrane and the eyelids.


Verwaltungs-Berichte, Allgemeiner Knappshafts Verein zu Bochum, 1905–1913, Bochum, Germany, 1905-1913.

These additional observations further emphasize the practical importance of miners' nystagmus as an occupational disease. The modern tendency of including occupational diseases within the scope of workmen's compensation for accidents or injuries suggests the practical importance of a more extended consideration of the subject. As shown by the accompanying bibliography, there have been few useful and conclusive American contributions to the literature on nystagmus. Aside from the brief consideration of nystagmus in Thompson's treatise on occupational diseases, a still more limited consideration by Lloyd may be mentioned chiefly on account of two interesting illustrations of the constrained positions under which miners' nystagmus is, according to some authorities, most likely to occur. Such mining practices, however, are comparatively rare in the United States on account of the relative infrequency of narrow coal seams and the more extended use of coal-mining machinery. No reasons suggest themselves, however, why this peculiar affliction should be limited to mining districts of European countries and not be found in American coal-mining districts where, on account of the gaseous nature of the mines, the use of safety lamps is compulsory.

As shown by the European experience, the affliction is not likely to attract general attention until compensation is required to be paid for it. Llewellyn's estimate of compensation cost on account of miners' nystagmus in the United Kingdom, placed by him at nearly half a million dollars a year, is probably too high. However, if this country under liberal workmen's compensation laws should include compensation for industrial diseases, the problem of miners' nystagmus, aside from its humane considerations, will probably become much more important than it seems at present.

The information here presented should, however, serve the purpose of attracting general medical attention to an obscure affliction which, under existing conditions, may be erroneously diagnosed and neglected, when remedial measures would be of decided advantage to the miner and the mining industry.



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BARNETT, H. N. Accidental injuries to workmen, with reference to workmen's com-

pensation act, 1906. London, 1909. BELL, T. Miners' nystagmus. Lancet, 1875, p. 821. BRAMWELL, B. Nystagmus occurring in a coal miner, associated with palpitation,

profuse sweating, and attacks of tachycardia. Clin. Stud., vol. 3, 1904–5, pp.


Einfall von Nystagmus der Bergleute. München. med.
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Miners' nystagmus. July 11, 1891, pp. 82–83.
Note on epilepsy following miners' nystagmus. Oct. 30, 1909.
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Note on miners' nystagmus and vomiting. June 13, 1914, p. 1334.
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Brit. Med. Jour., Oct. 5, 1912, pp. 837–840. BUTLER, T. H. Miners' nystagmus. Opthalmoscope, London, vol. 7, 1909, pp. 524– 529; vol. 10, 1912, pp. 680-684.

Miners' nystagmus. Brit. Med. Jour., Mar. 5, 1910, pp. 558–559.

Miners' nystagmus. Brit. Med. Jour., Apr. 23, 1910, p. 1024. CARRUTHERS, W. D. Miners' nystagmus. Brit. Med. Jour., Mar. 12, 1910, pp. 666–

667. Cockin, T. H. Practical coal mining. 1909, p. 405. COCKING, W.T. A case of miners' nystagmus associated with double spasmodic tor

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London, 1907. Third report; eye diseases. London, 1907, pp. 9–12. Collie, Sir John. Malingering and feigned sickness. London, 1913. Coppez, H. Sur le nystagmus des mineurs. Jour. méd. de Brux., vol. 17, 1912, pp. 531-533.

Le nystagmus des houilleurs. Jour. méd. de Brux., vol 18, 1913, p. 399; vol. 19, 1914, pp. 205, 290, 332. Court, J. Defective illumination as a cause of the nystagmus and other ocular disturbance observed in miners. Brit. Med. Jour., vol. 2, 1892, pp. 836-838.

Miners' nystagmus. Ophthalmoscope, London, vol. 10, 1912, pp. 684–687. CrIDLAND, B. Coal miners' nystagmus. Ophthalmoscope, London, vol. 10, 1912, pp. 699-703.

The visual fields in coal miners' nystagmus. Ophthalmoscope, London, vol. 11, pp. 727–729.

DRANSART, M. Travail du mineur nystagmiaue. Jour. d'oculistique du nord de

France, November, 1892, pp. 68–69, 76, 90. DRANSART, M.,and FAMECHON, F. Contribution à l'etude du nystagmus des mineurs. Bull. Acad. roy. méd. Belgique, vol. 22, 1908, pp.

424-477. DUCOURTIEU, M. Note sur le nystagmus des mineurs aux mines de Courrieres. Jour.

d'oculistique du nord de France, vol. 3, 1891–92, p. 85. ELWORTHY, H. S. Miners' nystagmus: Brit. Med. Jour., Nov. 19, 1910, pp. 1577– 1580.

Color and light in relation to miners' nystagmus. Ophthalmoscope, London, vol. 10, 1912, pp. 688–696. ENGINEERING AND MINING JOURNAL. Eyesight of coal miners. Vol. 86, Nov. 21,

p. 1012. Frost, W. A. Nystagmus in a man who has worked in a bad light for eighteen years. Trans. Ophth. Soc. United Kingdom, vol. 14, 1893–94, p.

245. HALDANE, J. S. Evidence on nystagmus and efficiency in illumination of mines.

Royal Commission on Metalliferous Mines and Quarries, vol. 2, 1914, p. 239. JAEFFRESON, H. Miners' nystagmus. Brit. Med. Jour., vol. 2, 1887, p. 109. LANCET. Insanity claimed to be due to miners' nystagmus. London, May 22, 1915,


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468. MCMURRY, S. Miners' nystagmus. Jour. of State Medicine, London, vol. 22, 1914,

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