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Trachoma is an infectious eye disease, and the leading cause of infectious blindness. Trachoma is spread from person to person through direct contact with secretions from the eye, nose, and throat. Even hand towels and wash cloths used by infected individuals can lead to the spread of the disease. More common in children than adults, trachoma is also more prevalent in areas that are not hygienic. Left untreated, trachoma will lead to permanent blindness.

Trachoma Symptoms

Trachoma can resemble pink eye accompanied by small white lumps on the underside of the upper eyelid. Other indications of trachoma are:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Teary eye discharge
  • Trichiasis
  • Ear, nose, and throat discharge

Pink eye should always be evaluated by a doctor. The appearance of pink eye along with any of the other symptoms of trachoma is cause for an immediate visit to your ophthalmologist.

When trachoma goes untreated, your eyelid will eventually turn in on itself, causing your eyelashes to rub against your eye. Your eyelashes will then rub against your cornea, causing scarring and scrathes that will lead to untreatable, permanent blindness.

Trachoma Treatment

Trachoma can be prevented through maintaining high standards of personal hygiene. In cases when it is spread, it can be treated by:

  • Bilamellar tarsal rotation surgery in which the lashes are moved away from the cornea
  • Antibiotics distributed both orally and through eye drops to kill the infection

Blindness is untreatable, and the earlier your ophthalmologist can detect and treat trachoma, the better your chances are for avoiding permanent vision loss.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of trachoma, please locate an experienced ophthalmologist in your area right away to set up an appointment, and ensure your vision remains unimpaired for years to come.

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