Eyelash mites are certainly not something that many of us want to openly discuss, but understanding these mites, what they do, and how to treat them can be incredibly beneficial to know in your time of need! That’s why our staff at Eye Care North came up with this article. At Eye Care North, we want to make sure that our patients feel confident and comfortable coming into our offices for regular checkups, or when they know that they need to get a problem corrected.
There are actually two different types of eyelash mites; both are from the Demodex family. One type is called Demodex folliculorum, and the other is Demodex Brevis. Both types of these mites are actually microscopic, so you cannot see them with your naked eye. When they are present, these mites are typically located on the hair follicles where they can feed on dead skin cells.
The folliculorum type of mite is the most likely to affect your eyelashes. This mite feeds specifically on the dead skin cells that are located around the structure of the eye. In fact, these mites are located on everyone, just in very low quantities. These mites can be spread from person to person, or person to animal through close contact. While these mites generally don’t cause issues, when their populations grow too large, they can create some skin issues, or aggravate a preexisting skin condition.
Eyelash mites are microscopic, so they cannot be seen or diagnosed by simply looking in the mirror. However, there are some signs and symptoms associated with their presence that you should know about. If you have these issues, it is probably a good idea to schedule an appointment with our staff at Eye Care North.
If you have one or more of the following symptoms, call our office to schedule an appointment:
Itchiness around the eyelashes and surrounding skin.
Scaly or rough patches around the eyes.
Redness around the eyes or burning sensation in the eyes.
Flare-ups of existing skin conditions (eczema or rosacea).
As the eyelash mite conditions get worse, patients can often experience swelling around the eyes (also called blepharitis). The swelling can also cause discharge, crustiness, sticky eyes, and frequent blinking. If the condition is left untreated, it can lead to growth abnormalities in the eyelashes.
Eyelash mites can be contagious. However, mites are spread through close physical contact that allows them to be spread to a new host. This can also occur when people share makeup. Eyelash mites can attach or get caught in an eyelash brush and then be spread when somebody else uses that same applicator. This is one of many reasons that eye doctors caution patients about sharing makeup.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about how to treat eyelash mites on the internet. If you believe that you have eyelash mites and are experiencing some of the symptoms, the best line of defense is to call Eye Care North to schedule an appointment and allow our expert staff to complete a physical exam and create the appropriate treatment plan for you. Proper diagnosis often requires a microscopic examination. This is completed by lightly scraping the eyelashes onto a slide, and then examining the slide under a microscope.
One of the most common treatments of eyelash mites is a simple medicated ointment that traps the mites and keeps them from spreading or laying eggs.
If you feel that you have frequent outbreaks of eczema or rosacea, particularly around your eyelashes or eyes, you may find that the underlying cause is actually eyelash mites. Call Eye Care North in Cave Creek, AZ today to schedule a consultation, and let our staff help keep your eyes and vision healthy 480-781-4446!