Trachoma is a bacterial infection that impacts your eyes. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Trachoma is contagious and spreads through contact with the eyes, eyelids, and nose or throat secretions of infected people. It could also be passed on by handling infected items, like handkerchiefs.
At first, trachoma might cause mild itching and irritation of your eyes and eyelids. Then you might notice swollen eyelids and pus draining from the eyes. Untreated trachoma could lead to blindness.
Trachoma is the major preventable cause of blindness in the world. Most trachoma cases happen in poor areas of Africa, where 85 percent of people with active disease reside. In areas where trachoma is prevalent, infection rates among children under 5 could be 60 percent or more.