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"What is trachoma?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat is trachoma?


Ive been reading online and think I have trachoma, so should I get the eye drops because it could be trachoma. What exactly isit. Is it the same as conjunctivitis?


Trachoma is a very serious bacterial eye infection caused by an organism called Chlamydia trachomatis. It is typically spread by direct contact, either with secretions from the eyes, nose, or throat of people who have the infection or sometimes from objects like towels or pillowcases that have been exposed to infected individuals. Trachoma is a serious problem in the developing world but is much less common in developed countries. Without treatment trachoma can lead to permanent blindness. The symptoms of trachoma are initially very similar to that of conjunctivitis (a nonspecific term for infection/inflammation of the eye), including pain in the eye, redness, swelling, and discharge. Patients with trachoma can also have other associated symptoms of the ears, nose, and throat. If you are concerned about a possible eye infection, it is important that you be examined right away. If you are currently living in the United States it is much more likely that any eye infection or conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or bacteria other than trachoma, but any complication involving the eye should be taken seriously. If you can't get a same-day appointment with your primary care physician or urgent care clinic, you can be seen in the emergency department. It will be important for a physician to examine your eyes to help determine if you need any particular treatment.

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