Encyclopedia

Trachoma

Trachoma is a chronic disease that can start acutely. The disease is characterized by diffuse infiltration of the conjunctiva of the eyes, with the formation of follicles, at the site of which scars are formed over time.

The very term “trachoma” translated from Greek means “uneven, with a rough surface” (trachos). It dates back to ancient times and characterizes the disease itself only partially, as it corresponds only to some of the manifestations of trachoma.

What are the causes?

The cause of trachoma is chlamydia, which parasitize intracellularly, their antigenic properties are characteristic of viruses and bacteria. They were found in the cells at the beginning of the last century, but nevertheless they have been considered the cause of trachoma for a long time.

The disease can start at any age, but it most often affects children. The passage of trachoma into a chronic form can become the beginning of its long course, and sometimes the pathological processes continue until the end of life.

The cause of trachoma is the passage of infected discharge from the mucous membrane of a diseased eye to a healthy conjunctiva.

The infection spreads with personal hygiene products, tools, chlamydia can be transferred to the conjunctival sac and by hands. The incubation period of the disease lasts from 5 days to 2 weeks.

The course of trachoma can be characterized by an extremely persistent nature. In this case, the disease cannot be cured by standard therapy.

The reason for such a clinical picture can be a number of factors such as some chronic diseases, lowered immunity, allergy, the presence of other eye diseases, incorrectly prescribed treatment or failure to follow the doctor’s prescriptions.

What are the symptoms?

The disease most often affects both eyes, in most cases the initial symptoms remain unnoticed. It proceeds as chronic, being accompanied by the formation of follicles.

Chlamydia cause inflammation of the blood vessels on the surface of the skin – the pannus. In place of the destroyed follicles, cicatrixes are formed over time.

There are 4 stages of the disease. The first is manifested by progressive inflammation of the conjunctiva. Diffuse infiltration turns into swelling of the tissues, then follicles grow in the conjunctiva in the form of cloudy grains of gray color.

In the first stage of the disease, the first symptoms of the characteristic involvement of the cornea of ​​the eye – pannus, i.e. growth of blood vessels.

During the second stage, the process of infiltration continues, the number of follicles increases, the process of their disintegration begins, cicatrixes are formed. Affecting the cornea of ​​the eye is now more serious.

The third stage takes place with the predominance of connective tissue formation processes. Follicles and areas of infiltration can be seen in the conjunctiva.

The fourth stage of the disease is inactive. The formation of connective tissue subsides, and inflammatory phenomena are not observed.

The characteristic trachoma involvement of the cornea of ​​the eye – pannus – originates from the upper eyelid. Subsequently, the process involves new vessels and affects the surface layer of the cornea.

Today, with modern treatment, trachoma can be completely cured. The severe form of the disease causes serious clouding of the cornea of ​​the eye, significant weakening of vision, formation of rough cicatrixes in the conjunctiva.

Treatment of trachoma

Etiotropically, the disease from the 1st to the 3rd stage is treated on an outpatient basis. Antibiotic creams containing tetracycline and erythromycin are prescribed. On the second or third week of treatment, the follicles are removed with tweezers, after the procedure is completed, an antibiotic cream is applied to the eyelids.

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