Blindness in leprosy

Farag, Ali Mousa (2018-04-14)

Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a long term infection by the myobacterium leprae or myobacterium lepromatosis.[3][4] Initially, infections are without symptoms and typically remain this way for 5 to 20 years.[3] Symptoms that develop include granulomas of the nerves, respiratory tract, skin, and eyes.[3] This may result in a lack of ability to feel pain, thus loss of parts of extremities due to repeated injuries or infection due to unnoticed wounds.[2] Weakness and poor eyesight may also be present.[2] Leprosy is spread between people.[7] This is thought to occur through a cough or contact with fluid from the nose of an infected person.[7] Leprosy occurs more commonly among those living in poverty.[2]Contrary to popular belief, it is not highly contagious.[2] The two main types of disease are based on the number of bacteria present: paucibacillary and multibacillary


Leprosy remains one of the world’s major blinding diseases and yet few ophthalmologists are aware of the spectrum of ocular complications. Cross sectional studies of the eye changes in leprosy studies of the eye changes in leprosy, have been carried out in 24 different leprosy centres throughout the world and the preliminary results are presented. They show that up to 20% of leprosy patients develop sight-threatening lesions and between 5% and 7% are blind (depending on the definition of blindness). Visual impairment in leprosy needs special consideration by leprologists and ophthalmologists, not only because much of it is preventable, but also because it is a severe burden to be added to the problems of mobility and social stigma that characterise this ancient disease

Attribution 3.0 United States
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution 3.0 United States