Help prevent demodex’s chronic lid and lash problems
Asking your patients to spend a few minutes a day brings big benefits
We have seen patients come in complaining of red, irritated, dry eyes, plus a range of other complaints. A diagnosis wasn’t always necessarily pinpointed, but we treated this “blepharitis” with warm compresses, baby shampoo, or an antibiotic/steroid combination drop. Our patients had some improvement but the symptoms never really went away.
Fortunately, research and treatment options continue to improve each year. These improvements allow us to treat our patients better than before. Lid and lash hygiene should be a discussion we have with every patient.
Forms of Demodex
Eyecare practitioners can effectively treat many lid and lash conditions with these new options. One of the conditions we hear about frequently at lectures is demodex.
The most common forms of demodex that affect our patient’s lashes are Demodex brevis and Demodex folliculorum. Both of these species are intradermal parasites that thrive on sebaceous glands and follicles in humans. We see these specifically on the lashes of our patients.
In the past, we would have simply called this condition blepharitis. However, today almost 84 percent of what we see on our patient’s lashes is actually demodex. As our patients age, the prevalence of demodex also increases. Traditionally warm compresses, baby shampoo, and antibiotic/steroid combo ointment are the options we would have tried. They would typically decrease some of the symptoms, they would not help treat the actual problem of demodex.1
Research has shown that tea tree oil helps to kill demodex.2 More products are becoming available to help fight demodex and improve our patient’s lid and lash hygiene.
Let’s take a look at several of them.