Demodex is a microscopic mite that lives in hair follicles and feeds on excess sebum (oil). Demodex can be found in and around your eyelashes and often cause:
- Itchy, irritated eyelids, especially near the base of the eyelashes
- Irritated eyes
- Debris on the base of your eyelashes
- Loss of eyelashes
If not properly managed, the mites will proliferate and infest the eyelash follicles resulting in inflammation, loss or misdirection of eyelashes, meibomian gland dysfunction, as well as various irritating red and dry eye symptoms.
We often see demodex in these groups of patients: teenagers with acne, older patients who suffer from chronic rosacea (face and ocular), and women who wear eyelash extensions and falsies. It’s important that we treat the active demodex infestation, teach our patients the proper lids/lashes hygiene, and prevent further meibomian gland function (MGD) and dry eye disease symptoms
Treatment for demodex involves in-office treatment followed up with demodex-specific lid scrubs such as the Oust Ocusoft Demodex Cleanser. At home lid hygiene and demodex treatments should be maintained as prescribed by your eye doctor to prevent future over-population of demodex mites in the eyelash follicles. Once active inflammation is eliminated, those suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction can undergo LipiFlow to improve meibomian gland function and meibomian gland secretion.
Preventative treatments for demodex involves lid hygiene. Washing your face (lids and lashes included) everyday with a gentle cleanser will help remove all excess sebum from your lids and lashes.
To schedule an in-office demodex treatment, call us at (713) 838-2020.