Yes, Eyelash Mites are Real!
Many patients suffer from a form of eyelid inflammation, Demodex blepharitis.
But did you know that demodex is a mite that lives on human skin?! Demodex is quite normal, but when it gets over-populated (age, poor hygiene, etc.) – that’s when symptoms start. A patient may feel a foreign body sensation in their eye(s), stinging, red eyelids and sometimes even styes. Demodex mites come out during the night to eat dead skin cells, lay eggs and expel waste products in your eyelid glands and eyelash follicles.
A typical clinical finding is the appearance of demodex “collarettes.” These collarettes are the strongest indicator for the diagnosis. A collarette is a little mound of light beige colored, waxy buildup on the eyelid margin. Some patients report that they can see a “white line” along the eyelid margin with the aid of a 10x mirror. Collarettes can really wreak havoc for some patients, but for others – completely asymptotic. For both cases, the goal is to remove Demodex collarettes for prevention and/or ocular relief.
You’ve Been Diagnosed with Eyelash Mites, Now What?
The most effective way to eliminate a demodex infestation is to adhere to a daily eye cleansing routine. Cleaning your eyelids with warm water, and applying a warm, wet compress will help to reduce the swelling and keep your eyelids and lashes clean.
Your eye doctor may recommend using a combination of warm compresses and eyelid scrubs. By gently scrubbing your eyelids, you can effectively remove the buildup of excess bacteria from your eyelid margins.
However, for moderate to severe cases of blepharitis, your eye doctor may prescribe an antibiotic or anti-parasitic treatment along with a daily cleansing routine. A corticosteroid eye drop or ointment can also help to reduce eyelid inflammation.
Lastly, it’s important that we see our patients at least once a year. Patients that skip their annual visit, often have a more challenging case and take much longer to find relief. Sooner is better; that is the doctors’ orders! Schedule your eye exam today
Take Care, You Only Get 1 Pair! #WeKnowEyes