Trachoma is the second commonest cause of blindness worldwide, affecting an estimated 150 million people, mostly children. It is an infection caused by the organism Chlamydia trachomatis which affects the conjunctiva (the covering of the front of the eye). The infection causes damage and subsequent scarring.

Trachoma occurs in impoverished areas of the world and is probably associated with close personal contact, and may also be related to facial contact with flies. The incidence of disease may be reduced by paying attention to hygiene (such as face washing) and by early recognition and treatment of the disease.

Further information

British Medical Journal

This article published on
11 December 2005

Next review date 12/1/2013



Areaof the body

Eyes, ears, nose, throat

Male or female?


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