Trachoma is a contagious, and chronic inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes, caused by Chlamydia trachoma. Swelling of the eyelids, sensitivity to light, and eventual scarring of the conjunctivae and corneas of the eyes characterize trachoma. Trachoma is a main cause of blindness throughout the world. It is found in the Far East, as well as countries with desert climates. In the United States, it is most common among certain Native Americans and in parts of Appalachia. The infection is extremely contagious in its early stages and blindness occurs from recurrent untreated infections.
Causes and Symptoms
Trachoma is caused by a parasitic organism closely related to bacteria called C. trachoma is. The disease can be spread by insects thru hand-to-eye contact, or by the sharing of infected handkerchiefs or towels. The incubation period is about a week. Initial symptoms of trachoma can include the development of follicles (small sacs) on the conjunctivae of the upper eyelids, pain, swollen eyelids, a discharge, tearing, and sensitivity to light. If the infection is not treated, the follicles develop into large yellow or gray pimples, and small blood vessels develop inside the cornea. In most cases, both eyes are infected. Repeated infections lead to contraction and turning-in of the eyelids, scarring of the corneas and conjunctivae, eventual blockage of the tear ducts, and blindness.
Treatment of early-stage trachoma consists of four to six weeks of antibiotic treatment with tetracycline, erythromycin, or sulfonamides. Antibiotics should be given without waiting for laboratory test results. Treatment may combine oral medication with antibiotic ointment applied directly to the eyes. Patients with complications from untreated or repeated infections are treated surgically. Surgery can be used for corneal transplantation or to correct eyelid deformities.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Trachoma
If you or a loved one developed the eye infection Trachoma as a result of using the antibiotic Zithromax, contact Parker & Waichman, LLP for a free case evaluation by a qualified attorney. Call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out the short form to the right.