Characteristics of trichiasis patients presenting for surgery in rural Ethiopia

M. Melese, Emily W. Gower, W. Alemayehu, Beatriz Munoz, A. Worku, C. A. Gaydos, Sheila K West

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Aims: To determine the characteristics of trichiasis patients presenting for surgery in Wolayta Zone of Ethiopia. Methods: Patients referred for trichiasis surgery by community health agents were evaluated by trained integrated eye care workers (IECWs) for the presence of trichiasis, locations of inturned lashes, severity of trichiasis, corneal opacity, and visual acuity. Results: 1635 individuals with trichiasis presented for surgery. 82% had bilateral trichiasis; 91% of patients reported trichiasis duration of >2 years. Epilation was practised by over three fourths of the study subjects. A high proportion of patients tested positive for ocular Chlamydia trachomatis at presentation. 17% had monocular blindness and 8% were binocularly blind. Corneal opacity was highly associated with the trichiasis duration and severity and visual loss was associated with corneal opacity. Conclusion: Severe trichiasis reflects the magnitude of the trachoma problem in Ethiopia. Visual impairment due to trichiasis is highly associated with disease severity and duration. Early intervention to correct trichiasis before it become severe is recommended to prevent visual impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1084-1088
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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