Chlamydial Conjunctivitis

What is Chlamydial Conjunctivitis?

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis is a type of eye infection caused by Chlamydia bacteria. This is one of the major types of Conjunctivitis and is said to be one of the main reasons behind blindness all over the world. In recent years, it has become less common but is regarded to be a highly contagious infection.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Symptoms

Some of the main Chlamydial Conjunctivitis signs and symptoms are

Picture 1 – Chlamydial Conjunctivitis


Redness of the eyes is one of the first symptoms of Chlamydial Conjunctivitis. In Chlamydial Conjunctivitis pink eyes or red eyes are very common and are usually seen with inflammation of the Conjunctiva.

Pus discharge

The discharge of pus is one of the most discomforting Chlamydial Conjunctivitis symptoms. As aforesaid, the disorder leads to white or whitish-yellow pus discharge from the eyes. In some people, the discharge can be green in color.

Eye pain

The disorder also results in pain in the eyes. The ache can be moderate or very severe and its intensity may vary from person to person.


Most Chlamydial Conjunctivitis patients are seen to develop extreme sensitivity to light. This extreme photosensitivity can cause eye pain and vision difficulties. Such problems can be controlled by wearing sunglasses.

Pain while urinating

In Chlamydial Conjunctivitis men can experience stinging pain while urinating. Women can suffer from watery discharge from the vagina along with burning sensation while urinating.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Cause

As mentioned earlier, Chlamydial Conjunctivitis results from infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria. This parasite infects a spot in the eyes and enters the cells at the point of infection. Once inside the eyes, it multiplies and spreads causing difficulties and discomfort for the infected person. It can affect one eye or both eyes of a person.

A main cause of Chlamydial Conjunctivitis is having sex. Vaginal fluid or semen infected with Chlamydia bacteria may accidentally come in contact with the eyes in such cases and cause Chlamydial Conjunctivitis.

Does Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Spread?

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis is caused by bacterial infection and is hence, a very contagious disease. A person with only one affected eye can also infect the other one by touching it with fingers unclean with discharge from the diseased eye.

A healthy person can catch it very easily from another person by sharing towels and clothes with him or her. The disease can also be contracted by inhaling air infected with cough or sneeze droplets from the affected person.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Diagnosis

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis testing is usually done with the aid of fluorescent antibody staining or Giemsa staining. This test helps make a cytoplasm analysis of Chlamydia. Immunofluorescent staining is useful in making a quick diagnosis of the condition and detects Chlamydia easier than Giemsa staining.

In the first stage however, Chlamydial Conjunctivitis is detected based on physical examination and the medical history of the patient.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Differential Diagnosis

The Differential Diagnosis for Chlamydial Conjunctivitis involves making sure that there is no Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) or potential mucous membrane infection at work. Chlamydia is responsible for a lot of sexually transmitted infections which happens when an infected person has sexual relation with multiple partners. In some cases, Chlamydia may infect some other part of the body along with the eyes. Treatment should cure all sites of infection.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Treatment

The complete medical way to cure this disease is the SAFE strategy which is an acronym for Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial Cleanliness and Environmental Modifications.

Facial cleanliness is very important for Chlamydial Conjunctivitis cure. If not kept clean, discharge from one eye may infect the other eye as well and cause problems in both eye.

Environmental Modifications include cleaning up the towels and clothes used by the infected person. This can make the disease go away quickly and prevent its recurrence.

Antibiotic treatment usually involves use of ointments. Antibiotic ointments are directly used over the affected eye or eyes for fast cure. Healthcare providers also often prescribe oral antibiotics to make sure that treatment destroys infection in any other part of the body as well. Chlamydial Conjunctivitis is usually treated with the help of antibiotic drugs like oral tetracycline and erythromycin. If the disease does not respond well to treatment, a swab from the eye may be taken and examined under a microscope.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis in children is usually treated with erythromycin and Tetracycline may not be used as the first choice.

In some cases of Chlamydial Conjunctivitis antibiotics fail to make an impact. Surgery may be used in such cases. This is carried out when the disorder results from like in-growing eye lashes.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Prevention

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis can be prevented by following a few tips.

Do not share clothes

Towels and clothes of a person with Chlamydial Conjunctivitis contain infected discharge and droplets that can affect another healthy individual. It is important to avoid using clothes and articles of that person.

Wash infected clothes

Clothes infected with discharge from infected people can cause recurrence of the disease after treatment. These may also affect healthy individuals. It is necessary to wash these in hot water to clear away all the germs.

Limit sexual partners

Having multiple sexual partners is a major cause of Chlamydia infection as well as many other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). It is better to stick to a single sexual partner to avoid diseases like Chlamydial Conjunctivitis.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis Complications

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis can give rise to a number of systemic complications such as otitis, pneumonitis, pharyngeal colonization and rectal colonization. Chlamydial Conjunctivitis in newborns has been reported to lead to pneumonia in 10-20% cases. In extreme cases, there can be risk of Conjunctiva damage and even blindness.

Chlamydial Conjunctivitis can be cured with medical treatment. But neglect in treating the condition and absence of proper cure may damage the eyes. In worse cases, a person may even go blind. It is thus essential to treat the condition in time. With effective cure, the disease resolves in a week or two without causing any complications. If you suspect yourself to be showing Chlamydial Conjunctivitis symptoms, get medical assistance immediately for fast recovery.


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