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Chlamydial Eye Disease

Updated February 21, 2017

A venereal disease known as chlamydia can damage the eyes and even lead to blindness. Eye diseases such as chlamydia and trachoma can, in turn, spread easily from person to person. Treatment can eliminate these infections.

Chlamydia

According to the Mayo Clinic, chlamydia afflicts about 4 million Americans per year. Sexual contact spreads the bacteria, and many of those infected have no idea they carry the disease.

Conjunctivitis

Dr. Michael Halstead of Midwest Eye Care says conjunctivitis is the eye disorder most commonly associated with chlamydia. This inflammation of eye membranes can easily spread from person to person, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Trachoma

Dr. Halstead states that chlamydia can lead to trachoma, which the Mayo Clinic describes as an infection causing eye irritation and vision problems.

Corneal Scarring

Advanced trachoma can scar the cornea, possibly leading to blindness. The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) explains that the scars develop when new blood vessels form to help heal the eye.

Treatments

Antibiotics can treat both conjunctivitis and trachoma, according to Dr. Halstead. A severely scarred cornea may require a corneal transplant to restore vision, according to the TSBVI.

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