ProVisu. Trustworthy Internet documents on vision disorders, eye diseases and the prevention of blindness. Home
<< Back
   Click here to disabled the audio version
All diseases: [Alt+ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z ]

Onchocerciasis, Ocular

Generality/Definition
  • Listen / Stop:
    River Blindness, or Onchocerciasis, is the world's second leading cause of blindness. It is a parasitic disease caused by a parasitic worm (Onchocerca volvulus) that can live in the human body for up to 14 years. The larval forms of these parasitic worms are introduced in the human body, as well as transmitted from a sick person to a healthy one, via the bite of infected blackflies (Simulium) that live and breed in fast flowing rivers because of their highly oxygenated water. Once the thousands of microfilariae (microscopic larvae) produced by the female worm spread throughout the body and reach the eye they can cause a variety of conditions including serious visual impairment and blindness.
    Source: Provisu look River Blindness (uniteforsight.org)
       Other information: Open - Close

Epidemiology

  • Listen / Stop:
    Onchocerciasis causes chronic suffering and severe disability among 18 million people worldwide, of whom 300,000 are irreversibly blind. The disease is mostly encountered in the Western and Central Africa, and to a lesser extent in the Middle East and the Americas.
    Source: Provisu look River Blindness (uniteforsight.org)
       Other information: Open - Close

Prevention

       Other information: Open - Close

Symptoms

  • Listen / Stop:
    Aside from being a leading cause of blindness, people suffering from River Blindness experience severe and continuous itching due to the presence of nodules that develop under the skin, causing them to scratch repeatedly. As a result, the damaged skin areas suffer a loss of pigmentation and, over the time, the skin becomes spotty, which causes de-pigmented spots that are more susceptible to skin cancer.
    Source: Provisu look River Blindness (uniteforsight.org)
       Other information: Open - Close

Treatment

  • Listen / Stop:
    The main aspect of the fight against onchocerciasis is chemioprophylaxy. In the early 1980s, a tremendous progress was made when ivermectine (approved in 1987) was launched under the name of mectizan. It is well tolerated by patients.
    Source: Provisu look Onchocerciasis, Ocular (asnom.org)

Illustrations

Source: Provisu look Onchocerciasis, Ocular (asnom.org)


Onchocerciasis nodule

Source: Provisu look Onchocerciasis, Ocular (asnom.org)


Commemorative statue erected in front of the main entrance to the WHO Headquarters in Geneva

Scientific articles: All recent articles for "Onchocerciasis, Ocular"

Search Web pages:
[ Cette page en français ] [ Diese Seite auf Deutsch ]

Announcement:
More information about HONcode
What do you think of this site
Online Text to Speech by ReadSpeaker
Last modified: Jan 2014
Creation: Jan 2006