How to Get Rid of Eyelash Mites

Eyelash Mites

Eyelash mites are parasites that live near or in the hair follicles. The tiny bugs are found at the base of the lashes and are usually harmless until they become too many. The condition is also known as Demodex. 


Mites have four pairs of legs that enable them to grip the eyelashes with ease. Eyelash mites are less than half a millimeter long and are translucent. They feed on oil and dead skin cells, which can help to clean the area. 



What Causes Eyelash Mites 


Eyelash mites do not usually cause problems, and you may not be aware of them. However, if they increase around the eyelashes, they can cause problems. It is not always easy to keep the area around the eyes as clean as other parts of the face. It allows mites to live on the eyelids. 


You can get eyelash mites by coming into close contact with someone who has them. Other high-risk individuals are people with a poor immune system due to a health condition or medication. 



Results of Eyelash Mites Infestation 


Having an eyelash mite infestation can lead to several complications:


  • Eyelid irritation

  • Accumulation of bacteria in the eyelid area

  • Eyelashes growing in the wrong direction

  • Loose eyelashes

  • Blocking the oil-producing meibomian glands

  • Triggers growth of dandruff around the eyelash base


The prevalence of the condition is unclear, but people can get eyelash mites from dust containing the parasite eggs. Many people do not experience symptoms and may be unaware they have mites. 



Symptoms of Eyelash Mites 


Eyelash mites can cause these symptoms:


  • Burning sensation

  • Eye pain

  • Itching or eyelid irritation

  • Crusty eyelid edges

  • The sensation of something in the eye

  • Blurry vision

  • Tearing


If you experience any symptoms, an eye doctor can determine if it is due to eyelash mites. Doctors check for eyelid swelling and redness. They use a special microscope, known as a slit lamp, to examine the area and diagnose the problem.



Getting Rid of Eyelash Mites


Eye doctors may recommend better eyelid hygiene, warm compresses, sulfur ointment, iodized solutions, tea tree oil cleansers, or other medications. Applying creams or ointments at the base of the eyelashes can help to get rid of eyelash mites. Intense pulsed light therapy can help to treat Demodex. 



Eyelash Mites Prevention 


The best way to prevent eyelash mite accumulation is through proper hygiene. Keeping your hair, face, and eyelids clean will help to prevent mite accumulation. 


Use a non-soap cleanser to clean your face twice daily and avoid greasy or oily face products. Regular facial exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells that attract mites. Keeping your environment clean and washing your bed linen and towels with hot water will help to prevent infestation. Eyelash mites often go unnoticed and undiagnosed. Regular visits to the eye doctor can help to detect the problem.


For more on how to get rid of eyelash mites, visit Eye Care North at our office in Cave Creek, Arizona. Call 480-781-4446 to book an appointment today. 

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