Your healthcare provider or an ophthalmologist will diagnose your condition through a physical examination and by discussing your medical history. They will inquire about any recent travel to regions where trachoma is prevalent. Additionally, they may choose to numb your eye and take a swab to collect fluid for laboratory analysis to confirm whether Chlamydia trachomatis is the causative agent of the infection.


The course of treatment for trachoma is determined by the stage of the disease.

  • Medications: In the initial stages of trachoma, treatment may solely consist of antibiotics to eliminate the infection. Healthcare providers often prescribe either oral azithromycin or tetracycline eye ointment; although azithromycin is more expensive, it tends to be more effective. When over 10% of children in a community are diagnosed with trachoma, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the entire population receive antibiotic treatment. This approach aims to treat all exposed individuals and prevent further spread of the disease.
  • Surgery: In the later stages of trachoma, particularly when painful eyelid deformities occur, surgical interventions may be necessary. Eyelid rotation surgery, or bilamellar tarsal rotation, involves making an incision in the scarred eyelid to rotate the eyelashes away from the cornea, helping to limit further corneal scarring and potentially preventing additional vision loss. For cases where the cornea has become significantly clouded and vision is severely impaired, corneal transplantation might be considered to improve sight. Additionally, epilation, or the removal of eyelashes, may be performed in some situations and could require repeated procedures.