Trachoma is a chronic conjunctivitis caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and is characterized by progressive exacerbations and remissions. It is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. Initial symptoms are conjunctival hyperemia, eyelid edema, photophobia, and lacrimation. Later, corneal neovascularization and scarring of the conjunctiva, cornea, and eyelids occur.
Trachoma usually affects both eyes. Five stages are described in the World Health Organization grading system.
Trachoma is caused by certain subtypes of Chlamydia trachomatis, a bacterium that can also cause the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia.
Trachoma spreads through contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person. Hands, clothing, towels and insects can all be routes for transmission. In developing countries, eye-seeking flies also are a means of transmission.
Signs and symptoms of trachoma usually affect both eyes and may include:
The following tests are used to diagnose trachoma:
These three methods have been surpassed in both sensitivity and specificity by nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs). Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of NAATs for national elimination programs
Inactive: Evaluate based on residuals, such as visual impairment and disfigurement (diagnostic code 7800).
Active: Evaluate under the General Rating Formula for Diseases of the Eye, minimum rating
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