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Thread: How do treat vision problems caused by onchocerca volvulus?

  1. #1 How do treat vision problems caused by onchocerca volvulus? 
    Forum Sophomore Hymenophyllum's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    How do treat vision problems caused by onchocerca volvulus?

    He is numb from his toes down
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  3. #2  
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    Sep 2013
    I cannot speak professionally on this as I do not have a medical degree, and do not take this as medical counsel or advice, but generally it is treated by the antibiotic doxycycline to kill the Wolbachia bacteria necessary for larval development or Ivermectin which interferes with the parasite's nervous system and muscle function. However, it does not affect vertebrates due to the blood-brain barrier, which makes it effective in killing parasites in vertebrates. Basically, Ivermectin causes flaccid paralysis in the parasite, which makes it go limp. This allows larvae to be killed by your body, but it will not allow your body to kill the adult female parasites. It will, however, stop them from reproducing which is generally thought to be because it paralyzes the reproductive tract in the female.

    However, if you have Onchocerca volvulus, then you should seek a medical professional for treatment immediately as in some cases the vision loss and possible blindness may be irreversible if not treated for too long.

    Basically, doxycycline and Ivermectin are used to kill Onchocerca volvulus. However, please seek a doctor immediately if you have it because it may cause permanent damage.

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  4. #3  
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    Aug 2013
    Quote Originally Posted by Hymenophyllum View Post
    How do treat vision problems caused by onchocerca volvulus?
    Are you a parasitologist?
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Dec 2013
    You mean after they have killed the parasites?
    I know in some cases aid groups fund corneal replacements and aid societies also pass out free glasses for people who are not completely blind, but usually the treatment is just to kill the worms with Mectizan and not bother trying to correct the vision problems that exist.
    Most of the places where river blindness is a problem are poor, unstable, and remote so they can't really afford a lot of treatment.

    Edit: Mectizan is donated by Merck.
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