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Trachoma

Trachoma had been endemic in the southern half of Illinois since the 18th century. In the 1920’s and 30’s there were trachoma wards set up at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary for the treatment of those suffering from this blinding infection. Patients from downstate had to travel to Chicago and treatment often lasted several months.

Dr. Harry S. Gradle, who worked closely with ISPB, had the idea of establishing trachoma clinics in the southern part of the state so people could receive treatment closer to home. With ISPB’s help, five clinics were established downstate. Shortly after the clinics were set up, it was discovered that the a new drug called Sulfanilamide was effective in the treatment of trachoma. ISPB was critical in organizing and overseeing the operation of administering drops and pills to patients. As a result, no new cases of trachoma were reported in the state of Illinois after 1950.

January 2023 Newsletter from ISPB & PBIL

Call for Nominations! “Jenny Pomeroy Award for Excellence in Vision and Public Health,” and the 4th annual “Rising Visionary Award” Prevent Blindness is announcing the call for nominations for...

February is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month

As part of February’s Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Low Vision Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness Illinois and ISPB are offering free resources to the public to help educate and...

My Retina Tracker Genetic Testing Program

Do you have a clinical diagnosis of inherited retinal degeneration (IRD) and live in the United States and/or the US territories? The Foundation Fighting Blindness, in partnership with Blueprint...

New Resources for Reducing Eye Strain from Screens

In response to increased virtual and screen-based activities during the coronavirus pandemic, ISPB and Prevent Blindness Illinois have launched a new awareness campaign,, Take a Screen Time Out. All...