Epidemiological aspects of intraocular pressure in an onchocerciasis endemic area

Bull World Health Organ. 1979;57(6):963-9.


A field investigation of intraocular pressure in populations in onchocerciasis endemic areas of West Africa revealed a normal pressure distribution in individuals without signs of ocular onchocerciasis or with only microfilariae or reversible lesions in the eye. Females showed a significantly higher mean ocular tension, and in both sexes tension decreased with age. Patients with irreversible onchocercal ocular lesions and signs of anterior uveitis showed a significantly lower and abnormally distributed intraocular pressure. The prevalence of glaucoma was significantly higher in this group, thus indicating that a high intensity of onchocercal infection may be associated with a risk of secondary glaucoma. The presence of microfilariae in the ocular tissues and consequent inflammatory reactions may possibly give rise to an abnormal distribution of ocular tension.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa, Western
  • Child
  • Eye Diseases / complications*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Onchocerciasis / complications*
  • Onchocerciasis / physiopathology