Your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) can diagnosis most cases of conjunctivitis through an eye exam. If you have recently visited a country where trachoma is common, your Eye M.D. may collect a sample (culture) for analysis. To do this, he or she will numb your eye and swab the surface to collect a sample. The laboratory test will accurately identify whether trachoma is the source of the eye infection.
In more severe cases of trachoma, an eye exam will reveal scarring on the inside of the upper eye lid, new blood vessel growth in the cornea and inward-turned eye lashes.
Antibiotics are effective in treating early cases of trachoma. Early treatment can prevent long-term complications.
More advanced cases of trachoma may require surgery to reposition eyelashes that are growing inward toward the eye. This surgery can help limit further scarring of the cornea and may help improve eyesight. Corneal transplants are another surgical option if the cornea has become so clouded that vision is seriously impaired.
Good hygiene, such as hand washing and face washing, has been shown to decrease the spread of trachoma.