Onchocerciasis – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 by

Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is an eye and skin disease caused by the parasitic worm called Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of a blackfly. These flies breed in fast-flowing streams and rivers. People who live near streams and rivers are at a higher risk of blindness. This is where the term “river blindness” came from. The adult female worm produces thousands of baby or larval worms within the human body. These larval worms may go to the skin and the eye.

Known side effects of onchocerciasis

The known side effects of onchocerciasis include severe itchiness that can result in skin rashes and loss of sleep; skin lesions; formation of subcutaneous nodules; thickening of the skin caused by lymphedema, particularly in the groin region; and eye complications, such as eye redness, eye pain, and glaucoma-like symptoms. It can also cause other complications. Eye inflammation can lead to blindness. If the parasite infects the brain, it can cause convulsions, neurological symptoms, and affect cognitive function. Moreover, severe scratching of the skin can result in secondary infections due to bacteria or fungus.

Body systems harmed by onchocerciasis

The body systems harmed by onchocerciasis are the ocular, integumentary, and immune systems.

List of foods or nutrients that prevent onchocerciasis

There is no information on what foods or nutrients prevent onchocerciasis. However, the best preventive method is to take personal protective measures against biting insects. These include wearing insect repellants on the skin, wearing long sleeves and long pants, and wearing permethrin-treated clothing.

Treatments, management plans for onchocerciasis

The most common treatment for onchocerciasis is by taking ivermectin, which works by preventing the female blackflies from releasing the larval worms.

Where to learn more

Summary

Onchocerciasis is an eye and skin disease caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus.

Onchocerciasis is also known as river blindness.

Onchocerciasis causes severe itchiness that can result in skin rashes and loss of sleep; skin lesions; formation of subcutaneous nodules; thickening of the skin caused by lymphedema, particularly in the groin region; and eye complications, such as eye redness, eye pain, and glaucoma-like symptoms.

Onchocerciasis harms the ocular, integumentary, and immune systems.

Onchocerciasis can be prevented by wearing protective clothing and putting on insect repellants.

Onchocerciasis can be treated with ivermectin.

Sources include:

WHO.int

DoveMed.com

CDC.gov

Healthline.com



Comments

comments powered by Disqus