Eye Diseases Trachoma

Trachoma is a highly contagious disease of the eye that can lead to impaired vision or blindness. Although uncommon in the United States, trachoma affects millions of people annually in rural, developing countries. If trachoma is treated with antibiotics at early onset, irreparable damage can be avoided.

What is Trachoma?

Trachoma is a bacterial infection of the eye caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, which is spread through direct contact with the eyes, nose or mouth by an infected source, such as the hands or washcloths. Trachoma is highly contagious and often infects entire families living in close quarters. Flies that have come into contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected individual can also transmit trachoma.

Trachoma is one of the oldest recorded infectious diseases, with references dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. The disease is most commonly present in areas of poor hygiene and crowded living quarters. While the symptoms of trachoma can be present at an early age, the direst effects may not be noticeable until adulthood.