[Ocular leprosy: a historical approach].
A sharp drop in the prevalence of leprosy occurred in the last three decades. However, the incidence has not decreased at the same rate. Three years after the World Health Organization last deadline for leprosy control, patients considered healed still need special care for their incapacities and immunopathological reactions. Medical literature reffers blindness in 4% to 11% of studied patients and more than 20% with severe visual problems due to corneal exposure, bacillary invasion and hipersensibility. These mechanisms result in a population of nearly one million blind leprosy patients even though official prevalence accounts no more than 250,000 patients worldwide. The author calls for better patients management and follow-up and urges ophthalmologists to become more aware and interested in the treatment of the ocular complications of leprosy.