Active trachoma is a keratoconjunctivitis caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis (serovars A, B, Ba, and C), occurring predominantly in children.
Children who have had multiple or severe episodes of active trachoma may develop cicatricial disease in later life.
Trachomatous cicatricial disease is characterized by tarsal conjunctival scarring, predominantly of the upper lid. It may ensue over the subsequent decades and can lead to trachomatous trichiasis (the contact of 1 or more lashes on any part of the globe), corneal opacity, and subsequent loss of vision.
Antibiotics, in conjunction with facial cleanliness campaigns and environmental improvements targeted at communities at risk, aim to reduce the reservoir of infection within a population.
Poor facial cleanliness may be the most important modifiable risk factor in children who develop trachoma.
Prompt surgery must be provided to adults who have trichiasis in order to prevent blindness.
A red eye due to at least 1 ingrown eyelash touching the globe (trachomatous trichiasis)
From the collection of Dr Hugh R. Taylor