A chronic inflammatory eye disease due to infection with a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. Trachoma results in blindness so frequently that it places a huge burden a year on world health funding ($25 billion in the year 2000). The disease goes by a number of names such as sandy blight. The transmission of t5he agent of trachoma is mainly among children and from children to women during child care. Key risk factors include low socioeconomic status and inadequate supplies of water. Trachoma affects approximately 500 million people worldwide, primarily in rural communities of the developing world and in the arid areas of tropical and subtropical zones. About 6-9 million people worldwide are currently blind and many more have suffered partial loss of vision from trachoma. Australia is the only developed country where trachoma is still a significant health problem; there it affects an estimated 100,000 people. The mass treatment of trachoma with tetracycline ointment is effective in the short term, but the disease usually returns within 6-12 months to pretreatment levels in a community. Trachoma can now also be treated with the antibiotic azithromycin (brand name: Zithromax). Promotion of increased face-washing helps further to control the disease. Surgery of the scarred eyelids can prevent continued damage to the cornea by turned-in lashes.
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Chronic contagious microbial inflammation, with hypertrophy, of the conjunctiva, marked by the formation of minute grayish or yellowish translucent granules caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. SYN: Egyptian ophthalmia, granular lids, granular ophthalmia. [G. t., fr. trachys, rough, harsh]
- follicular t. the ordinary form of t. marked by the presence of granulations on the conjunctiva. SYN: granular t..
- granular t. SYN: follicular t..

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tra·cho·ma trə-'kō-mə n a chronic contagious conjunctivitis marked by inflammatory granulations on the conjunctival surfaces, caused by a bacterium of the genus Chlamydia (C. trachomatis), and commonly resulting in blindness if left untreated
tra·cho·ma·tous trə-'kō-mət-əs, -'käm-ət-əs adj

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a chronic contagious eye disease - a severe form of conjunctivitis - caused by the virus-like bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis; it is common in some hot countries. The conjunctiva of the eyelids becomes inflamed, leading to discharge of pus. If untreated, the conjunctiva becomes scarred and shrinks, causing the eyelids to turn inwards so that the eyelashes scratch the cornea (trichiasis); blindness can be a late complication. Treatment with tetracyclines is effective in the early stages of the disease.

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tra·cho·ma (trə-koґmə) pl. trachoґmata [Gr. trachōma roughness] a chronic infectious disease of the conjunctiva and cornea, producing photophobia, pain, and lacrimation, caused by a strain of Chlamydia trachomatis. Tiny follicles and later papillae form on the eyelid and conjunctiva, leading to contraction and scarring with symblepharon, entropion, trichiasis, and corneal scarring that can result in blindness. Called also Arlt t. and granular or trachomatous conjunctivitis. trachomatous adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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