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October 1949


Author Affiliations

Medical Director, Missouri Trachoma Hospital ROLLA, MO.
From the Missouri Trachoma Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;42(4):422-437. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900050430008

HISTORICAL REVIEW  TRACHOMA is one of the oldest diseases known to man. Well known since Biblical times, it is still one of the greatest causes of blindness in the world. Among the ancient Romans and Greeks, such famous men as Aetius, Paulus Aeginetus, Alexander, Trailaus, Horace and Cicero were said to have been victims. It was known in ancient Egypt, and from the evidence of papyri and of crude instruments used for grattage and for trichiasis, one can assume knowledge of its ravages back to the nineteenth century B. C. India and Egypt are recognized as the "cradles of trachoma." It was known in ancient Greece, as is evidenced in the writings of Hippocrates, in the fifth century B. C. In 14 A. D. Celsus gave a good clinical description of the roughness of the lids and treatment by rubbing and scarification. Galen (131-201 A. D.), who practiced in Asia

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