Demodex: a nasty little mite - Cameron Optometry | Cameron Optometry
Demodex: a nasty little mite

Demodex: a nasty little mite

Posted on 09th February 2015

This weekend I spoke at the 100% Optical event, one of the UK’s largest trade event for eye care professionals. The topic was not one to be relayed over the dining table; it definitely had the ‘eugh’ factor. Demodex are a form of eyelash mite, who get their name from the Greek ‘demo’ meaning fat and ‘dex’, a woodworm. These little mites take up home in eyelash follicles and are stubborn and hard to get rid of. They don’t cause serious harm, in fact many won’t even know they have them, however for some it can be very uncomfortable.

A demodex infestation in the eyelashes can lead to blepharitis, a condition where the eyelids, can become inflamed, red and itchy. Or on the face they are linked with rosacea. It is a very common condition, although one that many probably choose not to share.

Unfortunately it is one of these conditions that is very hard to eradicate so during the workshop I discussed ways to manage it. Firstly I recommend removing as much of the crusty area around the eyelashes as possible, followed by a deep clean of the affected area. The next phase includes the use of tea tree oil. But before you nip out to the shops to buy some, please bear in mind that the concentration required to kill the mites could seriously harm the eye so this is best done by an optometrist who knows what they are doing. Then patients will be given a lid hygiene programme that may include various specialised wipes and products. The condition should then be continually monitored to ensure it does not become more severe and to gauge whether further deep cleaning is required.


Related Posts

COVID-19 advice

18th November 2020

This page will have our latest information on the care we can provide during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also find information on our Facebook page. LATEST UPDATE 2.00pm, Wednesday 18 November, ...

Read more

Is your vision roadworthy?

16th November 2020

Vision plays a vital role in driving, and as a driver it’s important that you ensure you have the best vision possible. To mark Road Safety Week, taking place from 16-22 November, The College of Opt...

Read more

Adapting appointments for all

06th November 2020

At Cameron Optometry, we have a huge range of patients who walk through our doors every day. From babies who have had cataract surgery and require specialist contact lenses, to people with rare, compl...

Read more

Treating dry eyes

09th October 2020

The huge increase in individuals working from home has resulted in an increase in patients getting in touch to ask for advice on dry eyes. It might be that people are spending more time on their devic...

Read more