Tiny mites, very common on human skin, can live in your eye lashes can give you sticky crusty build ups, rosacea, allergies and blepharitis ( inflammation of eye lids. This is called Demodex.
At any age group, there maybe 1000-2000 colonies of mites living on your eye brows, hair and/or eye lashes. The mites who live in your eye brows, and hair are likely to fall down to your eye lashes.
Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis are two most common mites found on human skin. This type of bugs are called Ectoparasites. These are worm-shaped with eight short legs clustered in their front third and they are about 0.3 to 0.4 mm long. Demodex folliculorum lives on the lash follicles and feeds on sebum for its primary source of food. They appear as shiny, small cylindrical structures under high magnification. Prevalence in younger people less than 20 years of age is about 13% to 20% and this increases with age and approaches to 95 to 100% by age of 70 years.1-3 It has been shown that the numbers of Demodex ( number of mites counted on lashes) increase with age.4 Despite the high incidence of Demodex, very few eye doctors pay attention to demoidicosis.
The recommended diagnostics tool in your eye doctor’s office include:
- A detailed case history was taken to see when meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), anterior blepharitis, dry eyes, and/or ocular allergy started.
- Careful examine using a slit lamp to see if the typical cylindrical dandruff was noted at the root of eyelashes.
- Microscopic examination of an eye lash and count the number of adult mites, lavae and eggs are present.
Here are some examples of people with Demodex- do they sound familiar? Reported by J. of Opthalmology.
It was found that Demodex was seen in both men and women. A 40-year-old woman with dry eyes and allergy, presented mite tails protruding from base of lashes. It was also found that Demodex had an association with rosacea, dry eye and diabetes. Another interesting case showed the presence of the uncommon Demodex brevis which was seen in a 44 year old male. A 53 year old woman with cylindrical dandruff, eyelid edema, greasy oily debris, and with a mite on the lash. This patient was intermittently taking steroid and antibiotic combination medications. Crusts and debris on eyelashes is often a sign of demodex infestation.
When you go to your eye doctors office, ask for an evaluation of these little mites, it could be a major cause
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