Would you be grossed out if I told you that you probably have mites infesting your eyelashes? Well, it’s true, most people have Demodex mites living in the base of the eyelashes. Here’s what they look like:
Actually they are so small it’s hard to see them even with the eye microscopes we have in our office. The above is an electron microscope image. Here is a less magnified view of an eyelash and 3 mites, again with an electron microscope:
Here is what we see in the clinic:
This is a highly magnified view of the eyelashes. The doctor has pulled on the eyelash gently to dislodge the Demodex mite from the root of the lash and bring it to the surface. We look for signs of Demodex in your eyes every year during your yearly exam. If you have just a few and your eyes aren’t inflammed then no treatment is required. But if we see lots of these little creatures you will likely need to be treated. Don’t worry, we have natural remedies that can make your eyes look and feel much better. Demodex is one of the common causes of blepharitis, the red rimmed eyelids, and is associated with styes, blocked glands, and even rosacea. Keeping the eyelids clean is helpful to control these little monsters. Ask us at your next yearly exam and we’ll give you tips about how to keep your eyes healthy and looking their best.
For more information check out this YouTube video. Thanks to Dr. Por Yong Ming, Dr. Jerry Tan, and thedoctorstv.com for images.