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July 24, 1937


JAMA. 1937;109(4):253-254. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780300009004

While the ravages and destructive influence of trachoma are well known, it would be difficult to say offhand how great percentally is the visual damage from that disease and how much that damage can be remedied by treatment. Therefore this analysis was made of the records of 2,713 consecutive cases of trachoma seen in the Southern Illinois Trachoma Clinics to answer that question. The U. S. Public Health Service1 estimates that 4 per cent of patients with trachoma in any given community are blind. MacCallan2 gives the statistics on the visual acuity of the inhabitants of the village of Bahtim. Forty-eight per cent of the 1,301 trachomatous individuals measured had vision of less than 6/18, while 5.5 per cent were blind in one eye and only 1 per cent blind in both eyes. The standard of blindness was the inability to count fingers at less than 1 meter.

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