Sunday, June 1, 2014

Demodex mites in eyelashes - treatment in Vancouver

What is demodex?

Demodex is an eight-legged mite that lives in hair folicles and sebaceous glands. Some species of demodex commonly infect humans. You can catch demodex through contact with the mite or from or dust containing eggs.

Demodex and dry, irritated eyes

The two types of Demodex that infect humans are D. brevis and D. folliculorum.  D. brevis is about 0.2 mm long and tends to live inside the eye lash’s sebaceous glands and in meibomian glands. Meibomian glands are critical for proper tear production and when these glands don't work properly, dry eye disease often results. That's why D. brevis can be associated with meibomian gland disease and deficient tear quality.  

D. folliculorum buries itself face down near the root of the eyelash and it is associated with anterior blepharitis, which is inflamed, irritated and itchy eyelids.

Treatment options for demodex infestation

There are a number of options for treating demodex infestation.  One of the most effective treatments that we use in our Vancouver optometry clinic involves a series of in-office procedures involving the use of anesthetic, tea tree oil, antibiotics and topical steroids.

If I have demodex, what about the rest of my family?

Doctors frequently observe that if one family member has an infestation, other family members are frequently also infected due to close contact.  It is a good idea to make appointments for family members if you are diagnosed with a demodex infection.