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Ivermectin for river blindness (onchocerciasis)

Onchocerciasis is caused by tiny worms and is transmitted from person to person by a small biting fly. The fly breeds in fast flowing rivers and streams mainly in West Africa. The disease causes severe itching and thickening of the skin and damages structures at the front and back of the eye. It also affects the nerve that connects the eye with the brain.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Vitamin A for preventing blindness in children with measles

Annually 500,000 children become blind worldwide; 75% of them live in low‐income countries. The major causes of blindness in children vary widely from region to region and are related to the standard of living of the community. Scarring of the eyes from measles, vitamin A deficiency, use of harmful traditional eye remedies and eye infection of the newborn, are the major causes of blindness in low‐income countries. Vitamin A is an important nutrient in the body and is required for the normal functioning of the eye. Its deficiency results in poor vision.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Doxycycline plus ivermectin for preventing and treating river blindness (onchocerciasis)

We reviewed the evidence on the effect of adding doxycycline to ivermectin, the usual treatment for people with river blindness (RB). RB also is known as onchocerciasis.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy for maternal and newborn health outcomes

Vitamin A is a fat‐soluble vitamin found in liver, kidney, eggs, and dairy produce. Low dietary fat intake or intestinal infections may interfere with the absorption of vitamin A. Natural retinoids are required for a wide range of biological processes including vision, immune function, bone metabolism and blood production. In pregnancy, extra vitamin A may be required. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international agencies recommend routine vitamin A supplementation during pregnancy or at any time during lactation in areas with endemic vitamin A deficiency (where night blindness occurs).

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Interventions for trachomatous trichiasis

Trachoma is the commonest infectious cause of blindness in the world. It is caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia trachomatis. This infection causes inflammation and scarring of the surface of the eye, which results in the eyelid turning in (entropion) so that the eyelashes touch the eyeball. This is known as trachomatous trichiasis. The lashes can scratch the corneal surface, leading directly or indirectly (from secondary infections) to corneal opacity. Surgery to correct the eyelid deformity is the main treatment for the late stages of the disease. Most cases of trachomatous trichiasis occur in sub‐Saharan Africa. They are generally treated by nurses with limited surgical training. Unfortunately the results of the surgery can be quite variable, with frequent post‐operative trichiasis reported. Therefore, we wanted to find out what types of surgery and other interventions give the best results in treating this condition.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Overview

It is normal for vision to gradually worsen with age. Some people also have medical conditions that further affect their vision. One possible cause of worsening vision is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Central vision loss makes objects appear blurry and distorted when you look at them directly. This is the type of vision we need to read, drive a car or recognize faces.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 29, 2015

Magnifying reading devices or aids for adults with low vision

The number of people with low vision is increasing with the aging population. Magnifying optical and electronic aids are commonly prescribed to help people maintain the ability to read when their vision starts to fade, but still have some ability to see. We reviewed the evidence for the effect of reading aids on reading ability in people with low vision, with the aim of investigating whether there are differences in reading performance using conventional optical devices, such as hand‐held or stand‐based microscopic magnifiers, as compared to telescopic optical devices, or electronic devices such as stand‐based, closed‐circuit television and hand‐held electronic magnifiers. The searches covered studies published until January 2013.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Aflibercept (Eylea) for age-related macular degeneration: Overview

The drug aflibercept (trade name: Eylea) has been approved in Germany since November 2012 for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 18, 2013

Glaucoma: Overview

As we age, we may develop eye conditions that impair our eyesight or have more serious consequences. Glaucoma is one of these eye conditions, but early diagnosis and treatment can help delay loss of eyesight.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 3, 2016

Fixed combination of tafluprost / timolol (Taptiqom) for glaucoma: Overview

The fixed combination of the active ingredients tafluprost and timolol (trade name: Taptiqom) has been approved in Germany since December 2014 for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma or increased intraocular pressure in adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 18, 2015

Why are randomized trials important?

The story of a big randomized study in 1954 shows why it is so important to divide participants of a study into groups by chance. The study focused on the question if high doses of oxygen in the incubator can leave newborns blind. For many years, this had been the standard treatment without it having been thoroughly tested before.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 27, 2013

Treatment options for glaucoma

Glaucoma can be treated with medication (eye drops), laser therapy or surgery. The aim of treatment is to lower intraocular pressure, thereby reducing the risk of impaired vision or blindness.The term "glaucoma" is used to describe a number of different eye conditions, all of which involve damage to the optic nerve. This leads to ever larger gaps in the field of vision. The field of vision is the area you can see without moving your eyes. In advanced stages, your ability to see things sharply (visual acuity) also gets worse. One common cause is too much pressure inside the eye. This pressure is called intraocular pressure.Lowering high intraocular pressure can help to delay or stop the gradual loss of vision. Glaucoma cannot be cured, though, because existing damage to the optic nerve cannot be reversed.The following information covers the treatment options for the most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 3, 2016

Glaucoma: How can screening tests help?

Many eye doctors offer screening tests for glaucoma. But if you don't have any risk factors or your doctor doesn't have good reason to believe you may have this eye condition, statutory health insurers will not cover the test (in Germany). There has not yet been any good-quality research on whether or not screening programs for the general population are beneficial.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 3, 2016

Dietary supplements for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

There is no evidence that dietary supplements can prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But some combinations of vitamins and minerals may help delay the development of late-stage AMD.Dietary supplements contain nutrients that also occur naturally in our food, such as vitamins and minerals, but in a concentrated form and often at a higher dose. They may contain herbal substances like St. John's wort (hypericum) or garlic, or animal products such as fish oil. Dietary supplements are available in many different forms, including tablets, capsules, powder or liquids. They do not require a prescription and are also available outside of pharmacies.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: July 29, 2015

Surgical removal of choroidal neovascularisation in patients with neovascular age‐related macular degeneration

We found two large multicentre studies conducted in 790 people affected by choroidal neovascularisation, with or without extensive blood beneath the macula. The results of these studies suggested that visual loss cannot be prevented using surgery. In addition, complications such as cataract and retinal detachment can arise during follow‐up, in patients who have the procedure.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Medications or surgery for the treatment of open angle glaucoma

Open angle glaucoma (OAG) is the most common form of glaucoma and an important cause of blindness. Having a high intraocular pressure (IOP) is an important risk factor. Treatment for OAG aims to lower the IOP and thus reduce the risk of progressive loss of vision. IOP can be lowered by medications (eye drops), laser therapy or surgery. There are many different types of eye drops available and these are compared in a Cochrane review (Vass 2007). Surgery for glaucoma has also evolved in the last 40 years. The most common type is called trabeculectomy, or drainage surgery, that creates an opening at the wall of the eye to release fluid and reduce the IOP. Surgery may have complications during and after the operation and may fail in the long‐term due to scarring. Drainage surgery forms a 'bleb' i.e. small blister like elevation on the surface of the eye which can sometimes be uncomfortable.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Aflibercept (Eylea) for macular edema following retinal vein occlusion: Overview

The drug aflibercept (trade name: Eylea) is approved in Germany for the treatment of loss of eyesight due to macular edema in adults.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: June 15, 2015

Steroid implants for chronic uveitis not caused by infection

Uveitis describes a group of eye diseases caused by inflammation (redness and swelling, etc.). Uveitis is the fifth most common cause of vision loss in high‐income countries, accounting for 5% (1 in 20 cases) to 20% (1 in 5 cases) of blindness, with the disease affecting mostly working‐age people. In low‐income countries, uveitis accounts for 2.4% (1 in 40 cases) to 24% (1 in 4 cases) of legal blindness. These figures are for all types of uveitis (infectious and non‐infectious uveitis), so the prevalence of non‐infectious uveitis (the focus of this review) is likely lower than these estimates.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Device‐modified trabeculectomy for glaucoma

We reviewed the evidence about the effectiveness and safety of the use of devices in a standard glaucoma surgery (trabeculectomy) for the treatment of glaucoma.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2015

Neuroprotection (medicines to protect nerves involved in sight) for treatment of glaucoma in adults

We found one study that compared two different eyedrop treatments, given to two groups of adults with low‐pressure glaucoma. One group received brimonidine, a neuroprotective drug. The other group received timolol, a drug that lowers fluid pressure in the eyes. The researchers followed these two groups for four years to see if either treatment really protected the optic nerve and prevented vision loss.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

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