This repeated infectionif left untreated can also result in everlasting trachoma blindness making the eyelids turn inwards. So, trachoma blindness or visual impairment because of trachoma is said to be irreversible. Trachoma is likewise called granular conjunctivitis or blindingtrachoma.
In step with the information amassed via WHO in March In 2019, approximately 142 million human beings are residing in trachoma endemic areas and are on the verge of trachoma blindness. In trachoma active regions, the chances of having this infection among preschool children are as high as 60-90%. This infection is determined to be much less frequent and shorter in length amongst people of increasing age.
Causes of Trachoma
- By direct contact with eye, nostrils, throat secretions from the affected individuals.
- By means of direct touch with objects or materials which may also bring infection such as towels, utensils, and furniture (that have similar contact with the secretions of the affected individual).
- By mechanical transfer which incorporates insects (flies).
The possibility of blinding trachoma increases with untreated repeated infection because it will badly have an effect on the conjunctiva or cornea of the eyes.
Prone factors for Trachoma
- Crowded living areas.
- Poor maintenance of hygiene and sanitation facilities.
- Shortage of latrines ( or use of more communal latrines ).
- Shortage of water.
- Moderate itching and irritation in eyelids or eyes.
- Discharge from eyes ( containing pus or mucus ).
- Eyelid roughening might also causeswelling of the eyelid.
- Eye may also get sensitive to light.
- Excessive eye pain and blurry vision.
- Trachomatous inflammation- follicular (TF)- This is the primary level where the infection just start. In this stage, 5 or more follicles of size > 0.5 mm seem on the internal floor of the conjunctiva ( Follicles are small bumps that contain white blood cells ).
- Trachomatous inflammation- intense (TI)- On this stage, the eye gets highly infected and irritated which can also bring about swelling up of the upper eyelid (conjunctiva ).
- Trachomatous scarring (TS)- As the infection progresses or gets repeated with this stage, scarring of the inner layer of the eyelid can also occur. This will further result in a medical condition calledEntropion, where the eyelid turns inward.
- Trachomatous trichiasis (TT)- As the scarring of the inner layer of the eyelid continues to disfigure resulting in entropion, the eyelashes begin to grow inward towards the eye. This condition referred to as trichiasis of eye. Eyes get more irritated as those eyelashes get to rub in opposition to the cornea, conjunctiva, and the inner floor of eyelids.
- Corneal opacity (CO)- This is the very last stage wherein the cornea will become cloudy or scarred if trichiasis left untreated. This, in the end, ends in the ailment of the cornea known as corneal opacity.
Prevention of Trachoma
- Proper handwash and facewash practice.
- Insects like flies may be abolished by preserving proper sanitation practices.
- Proper disposal of waste to ensure elimination of flies.
- Accessibility to pure and clean water.
- The surgical procedure to treat the eye condition called trachomatous trichiasis.
- Antibiotics are provided to clear or to lessen this bacterial eye infection.
- Facial cleanliness is promoted.
- Environmental enhancement, with the aid of proper sanitation and access to water.
- Antibiotics are used to treat early-stage trachoma. The aim of using antibiotics is to reduce or kill the growth of trachomatis bacteria. The antibiotic used for the treatment of trachoma is azithromycin.
- For some cases of trachoma, a tetracycline eye ointment is prescribed which is applied to both eyes twice a day for 6 weeks.
- Eyelid rotation surgery(bilamellar tarsal surgery)- in which eyelashes are rotated away from the cornea of eyes and this, in turn, limit the progress of corneal scarring and further prevent the loss of vision.
- Corneal transplantation needs to be done in some cases to stop impairment of eye vision where the cornea becomes scarred or cloudy fully. However, this method of surgery does not have good results.
- Another option is to remove the eyelashes in some cases in order to keep them separated from the cornea of the eyes. But this procedure needs to be done repeatedly.