Conjunctivitis, that is, inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye, is known to many. But not everyone knows about chlamydial conjunctivitis, which ophthalmologists often have to deal with. The causative agents of this disease – chlamydia – occupy an intermediate position between viruses and bacteria. Like viruses, they multiply in the cells of the human body, and like bacteria, they die under the influence of antibiotics and sulfa drugs.
Chlamydia can affect not only the mucous membrane of the eyelid, the eyeball, but also the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, lower gastrointestinal tract, and urogenital organs. More often than not, chlamydia is transmitted sexually, therefore, the diseases caused by them are classified as venereal.
The signs of chlamydial diseases are diverse, sometimes they are difficult to detect, since the infection may not manifest itself.
The forms of chlamydial eye damage are different: trachoma, chlamydial conjunctivitis (paratrachoma of adults), epidemic chlamydial conjunctivitis, chlamydial conjunctivitis of newborns (paratrachoma of newborns) and a number of others.
TRAHOMA was widespread in pre-revolutionary Russia and was the main cause of blindness. In the Soviet Union, this disease was eradicated.
Chlamydial conjunctivitis, or paratrachoma of adults, occurs mainly in young people (20 – 30 years old). The infection is transmitted mainly through sexual contact. The causative agent is transferred by contaminated hands from the genitourinary organs to the eyes, less often – from the affected eye to a healthy one. The disease usually begins as an acute inflammation of one eye: photophobia, lacrimation appear, the eyelids turn red and swell. Patients mistakenly believe that they have a banal viral or allergic conjunctivitis and it is not necessary to consult a doctor. They have been self-medicating for a long time, which is not only useless, and in some cases even harmful. When the disease is started and begins to seriously disturb, the patient goes to the ophthalmologist. And often his urgent recommendation to turn to a urologist, gynecologist and otolaryngologist is puzzling. This requirement is due to the fact that with chlamydial conjunctivitis infection is almost always detected in the genitourinary organs (nonspecific urethritis, cervicitis); In about 20% of cases, this disease is accompanied by inflammation of the inner ear, also caused by chlamydial infection.
Treatment, as a rule, is carried out in stationary conditions, since it is almost impossible to carry out intensive, massive therapy on an outpatient basis.
The full course of treatment lasts 4 to 6 weeks. The disease is cured, as a rule, without complications, there are almost no relapses. However, this should not give rise to a frivolous attitude towards chlamydial conjunctivitis. IN THE PREVENTION OF THE DISEASE, THE MAIN THING – DO NOT ALLOW ACCIDENTAL SEXUAL CONTACT. If a man or woman has a chlamydial conjunctivitis, they will be identified and partners to conduct a course of treatment.
Infection is possible, although this happens quite rarely through contaminated water, bedding, and a towel. toilet items used by the patient. And although chlamydia outside the human body quickly dies, nevertheless, when caring for a patient, you should wash your hands in warm running water with soap or treat them with a 2% solution of chloramine, other antiseptic agents.
Epidemic chlamydial conjunctivitis usually occurs in the form of outbreaks among visitors to baths, pools. Hence its other name – bath, or pool, conjunctivitis.
Keep in mind. that even one patient suffering from chlamydial urethritis or conjunctivitis can be a source of infection for all pool members. Therefore, in the presence of chlamydial infection, you can not visit the pool! Strict adherence to the rules for chlorinating water in them helps prevent the spread of this infection.
Chlamydial conjunctivitis of newborns (paratrachoma of the newborn) occurs in 25 – 50% of children born to sick mothers. Infection occurs when the fetus passes through the birth canal.
A woman who is planning to become a mother must undergo a special examination, especially if she suffers from urethritis, cervicitis, and cervical erosion. The course of treatment must be carried out under the supervision of a doctor and be completed before childbirth. The husband must undergo examination and treatment, even if he does not make any complaints. Indeed, in men, chlamydial infection of the genitourinary tract can be asymptomatic.