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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Trachoma
      Category : Health Centers > Eyes and Vision


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Trachoma is a highly contagious infection of the eyes. Trachoma is caused by an organism called Chlamydia trachomatis.

What is going on in the body?

Trachoma is a form of an eye infection called conjunctivitis. The chlamydia organism infects the conjunctiva and cornea of the eye. It can cause a number of symptoms and serious complications. Chlamydia was once thought to be a virus but is now believed to be more bacterial. It appears to respond to antibiotics. The infection is chronic and long lasting. Trachoma usually infects only the eyes. But it can also settle in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

What are the causes and risks of the disease?

Trachoma is a chief cause of blindness in many areas of the world. Trachoma is most common in poor countries that lack clean water and adequate hygiene. It is sometimes transmitted by using washbasins and towels that others have used. Flies and gnats that come in contact with the eyes may also spread the organism.

Trachoma can be found along the Mediterranean Sea, in the Middle East, India, China, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and Argentina. It also occurs in rural areas in the United States, especially on reservations for Native Americans.


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Trachoma: Symptoms & Signs

Author: William Stevens, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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