A trachoma is called an infectious lesion of the eye, which is chronic in nature and caused by chlamydia bacteria. The disease affects the conjunctivitis and cornea of the eye, leading to the formation of scars on conjunctivitis and secular cartilage. May cause complete loss of vision. The disease is most widespread in developing countries. In the CIS countries it occurs as a single imported cases.
History of trachoma
The disease has been known to doctors since ancient times, but previously it was spread exclusively in Asia and Africa. In Europe, the appearance of trachoma was associated with military campaigns on Egypt by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the late 18th century. The causative agent of trachoma is chlamydia trachomatis, discovered in 1907 by scientists Halberstedtert and Provachek. It can be found in the cytoplasm of conjunctivitis cells. Chlamydia affects the cells of the eye, causing inflammation that affects the deeper layers of conjunctivitis and can reach the cartilage of the eyelids. Most often, the disease appears in girls aged 4 to 10 years. Its consequences can be expressed in twisting of the eyelids and trichiasis, but more often in old age, after 50 years. The disease is contagious. Infection is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person when the disease is in an active stage, or by his personal belongings.
Symptoms of trachoma
The incubation period of trachoma is one to two weeks. Most often, the disease affects both eyes at once. In some cases, the initial stages of trachoma can go away without any unpleasant sensations, in others there may be a burning sensation in the eyes, a sensation of a foreign body and mucous discharge. If the onset of the disease is acute, a person has a fear of light, the eyelids turn red, conjunctivitis swells .
In the development of the disease, four stages are distinguished:
– a follicular reaction develops, the limb and the cornea pannus become inflamed;
– scars form on the site of the follicle;
– the number of scars in the cornea and conjunctivitis begins to increase significantly;
– scarring is completed, covering the cartilage of the eyelids, conjunctivitis and the cornea.
In accordance with the symptoms prevailing in the first three stages of the disease, doctors distinguish the forms of trachoma: papillary, follicular, mixed and infiltrative.
Diagnosis of trachoma
The doctor makes a diagnosis based on a thorough examination of the cornea and conjunctivitis of the eye. If there are at least 2 of the 4 main signs of the disease: follicles on the upper limb, follicles on the conjunctivitis of the upper eyelids, pannus on the upper part of the limb, scars on the conjunctivitis. To confirm the diagnosis, doctors can do a cystological analysis of epithelial cells to identify the causative agent of the disease, based on a blood test to determine the presence of specific antibodies, as well as apply other research methods. During a trachoma epidemic, doctors need only find at least one symptom.
Treatment and prevention of trachoma
To treat the disease, doctors prescribe various local ointments and solutions to patients, as well as restorative vitamins and immune support agents (such as interferon). If necessary, surgical treatment can be performed. If you start treatment of the disease on time and carry it out comprehensively, using antibiotics, you can quickly cure trachoma and avoid complications. About 80% of patients can be cured in two to three months. After the treatment of stage 4 disease, relapse may occur after 5 to 25 years. If to treat a disease or untimely. Vision may disappear.
Prevention of the disease is to find sick people on time, put them in the dispensary and treat them in compliance with all necessary hygiene rules.