EyeLash Demodex Symptoms , Could Human Skin Mites Trigger Loss of EyeLashes and Cause Blepharitis Eye Infection?
Demodex mites are common among many people. In fact, 97% of individuals have it on the surface of their skin. The body is usually able to respond properly with these mites. Since they activate antigens that in turn give way to the production of antibodies, the body gets to minimize the population of the mites. In these cases, the host does not encounter different symptoms. However, when the person has a compromised immunity, the number of demodex mites goes excessively high. For this reason, different symptoms arise. Among the most notorious are the manifestations in the eyelids, more commonly known as blepharitis.
It is important to highlight that a patient with rosacea, another disorder that is highly connected to demodex, is predisposed to blepharitis. This is because the oil-producing glands in the skin are already clogged. Also, the eyelids are usually excluded in facial cleansing hygiene. This means that they provide an attractive environment that allows the mites to spread and thrive.
Blepharitis caused by demodex can either affect the eyelids anteriorly (in front) or posteriorly (at the back). Anterior infestation involves the follicles of the eyelashes. In this case, clusters of mites are found at the eyelashes’ roots. On the other hand, posterior infestation affects the meibomian glands, or the sebaceous gland found at the eyelids’ rim. As they inhabit areas of the eyelids, they eat hair follicle’s epithelial cells. This results to the distention of the follicles where the lashes become misdirected or loose. Due to the claws of the mites, very tiny abrasions are sustained at areas near the eyes, which causes discomfort. Also, they may block the meibomian glands which results to lipid tear deficiency. With the presence of demodex mites, the host experience crusting and redness found in the lid margin, burning sensation, itching, foreign body sensation, and blurred vision. There are also some other manifestations such as swelling of the lid margin, cylindrical dandruff, and various conditions of eyelashes, among others.
In terms of diagnosis, a patient is suspected to have demodex induced blepharitis when sore eyes as well as keratitis are recurrent. To confirm it, slit lamp method can be done. In this process, lashes are examined in a slit lamp. The presence of cylindrical dandruff will be seen if there is indeed infestation. In addition, it can also be confirmed using a microscope. The lashes are examined to detect and count the adult, larvae, and eggs of demodex mites.
Since the eyelids are typically left out when it comes to hygiene, this should be the focus if the patient really wants to eliminate demodex. Tea tree oil is very useful in this case. Every time the patient showers and washes his hair using tea tree shampoo, he should close his eyes to wash his eyelashes and eyelids using the tea tree shampoo and liquid soap. For four minutes, gently clean the said areas. In addition to showering with tea tree oil, he should clean the eyelids using 20% solution of tea tree oil. The eyelids should be closed and rubbed with cotton buds dipped on the solution, with the inclusion of the eyelashes. This should be done once or twice a week. It is expected that eye problems will subside within a week.
Your eyes are the window to your soul. If you are experiencing discomfort around your eyelids, consult a doctor and be diagnosed. You can then choose to get treated with natural remedy such as tea tree oil which will spare you from the side effects and high cost of chemical drugs.