Demodex is a tiny mite which targets the eyelash follicles. It is also associated with rosacea. Our body has millions of bacteria. One of the best examples is lactobacillus which helps in absorption of food and aids digestion. Some of the bacteria are present on the surface of the skin. Demodex comes in this category.
Things to know about Demodex mites:
Demodex mites are parasites which live on the hair follicles of mammals. They do not cause any symptoms at first. Two types of demodex mites are present in humans. One type lives in the hair follicles and the other type lives on the sebaceous glands which are attached to the hair follicles. The latter type is seen in huge numbers in people suffering from rosacea. When they multiply, they accumulate oil and debris on the eyelash base.
This condition leads to blepharitis and finally, dry eyes. The meibomian glands present in our body is responsible for producing oil. The oil maintains a healthy tear film in the eyes and when it gets blocked, there is no adequate production of tears, finally leading to dry eyes. This can also lead to hair loss in humans.
Association of demodex with ocular rosacea:
It is not evident that increased number of demodex is the cause of this condition. Demodex feeds on the oil produced by the glands. It is said that increase in amount of tears leads to increase in amount of demodex and the waste produced by them cause inflammation as seen in patients suffering from rosacea.
If the meibomian glands are not functioning properly, crust can build up around the eyelashes. To prevent the eyelashes from crusting, lid scrubs are used. One can also visit an ophthalmologist for removal of crusting. Some lid wipes also contain tea- tree oil, which is effective against demodex mites.
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