19 Jun Mites Unmasked: Conquering Demodex Blepharitis
Mites Unmasked: Conquering Demodex Blepharitis
What is Demodex?
Demodex mites are microscopic organisms that naturally inhabit the hair follicles and oil glands of the eyelashes and can become problematic when their population exceeds normal levels. An overpopulation of these mites can lead to demodex blepharitis, which is a condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelids. Demodex blepharitis often presents with symptoms such as itching, redness, irritation, burning sensations, and crusty debris along the lash line. The mites can also contribute to the development of other ocular conditions like meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye syndrome.
Who is at risk for demodex?
Increasing age is one of the main risk factors for demodex, particularly in patients aged 60 and over. However, demodex mites can be found in younger patients with poor eyelid hygiene.
Poor Eyelid Hygiene
Demodex feeds on sebum, dead skin cells, and other debris found on the lashes. For patients with poor lid hygiene or eyelash extensions, excess sebum and bacteria can lead to an overpopulation of demodex mites. This excessive population can lead to inflammation, itching, redness and even loss of eyelashes. Proper lid hygiene practices such as regular cleansing and gentle scrubbing can help control and alleviate the symptoms of demodex blepharitis.
Rosacea has been shown to increase the risk of demodex-associated blepharitis by creating an ideal environment for it to thrive. According to the National Rosacea Society, patients with rosacea have approximately 18 times more mites compared to people who don’t have rosacea.
What are treatments for demodex blepharitis?
Effective management of demodex blepharitis involves maintaining good lid hygiene practices, such as regular cleansing of the eyelids with gentle cleansers or prescribed lid scrubs, warm compresses, and eyelid massage. In some cases, doctors may recommend medicated treatments like topical ointments or oral medications to control the mite population. By having an optimal eyelid cleansing routine this can help reduce the risk of developing demodex. We recommend using the following products to help treat demodex blepharitis:
Optase tea tree oil wipes
These wipes contain a gentle concentration of tea tree oil, and chamomile combined with hyaluronic acid. The textured surface aids for a more effective removal of dirt, eye makeup and debris leaving the eyelids fresh and moisturized.
A hypochlorous spray we carry that targets to remove microorganisms and debris from lids and lashes. It is safe for everyday use and for patients of all ages.
Another product we carry that is used as an eyelid cleanser and moisturizer. Its solution delivers activated okra polysaccharide complexes to your eyelids to help provide instant relief.
Early diagnosis and proper management are crucial for alleviating symptoms and preventing long-term complications associated with demodex blepharitis. Stop by and purchase some products that will help improve your daily eyelid cleansing routine. Schedule your annual eye exam today and ask our doctors about how to better manage symptoms of demodex blepharitis!