For further information about Demodex blepharitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Vicki Lin and Dr. Jennifer Yong at iSight Vision Care in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach, California.
Demodex is a microscopic mite that lives in hair follicles and oil glands. Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes. In some cases, blepharitis may be linked with the presence of Demodex.
Patients with Demodex infestation can present with symptoms including itching, burning, foreign body sensation, blurry vision, and eye pain. Because these symptoms are common in many eye diseases, a formal eye exam at a slit lamp microscope is necessary to establish the diagnosis.
Eradication of Demodex infestation can be accomplished by using daily lid scrubs with tea tree oil. The treatment regimen is recommended to last at least a few months to cover the patient through 2 life cycles of Demodex.
An in-office treatment can be done. We perform a manual Demodex mite and egg removal with tea tree oil. We perform a full debridement of lashes using tea tree oil solution and surgical forceps. The tea tree oil helps irritate the mites and stimulates them to leave the eyelash follicle. Then we treat the eyelids with antibiotics and steroid ointment to suffocate the mites. The steroid specifically helps calm the inflammatory cascade associated with the decaying mites.