When you think about mite infestations, your thoughts probably turn to the dust mites living unseen in your house. The last thing you probably want to hear is that there is a type of parasitic mite that loves to live in your eyelashes. Below are some of the causes of eyelash mites, or Demodex, as well as some of the symptoms they may cause when there is a large infestation in your lashes.
Causes of Eyelash Mites
One of the major causes of eyelash mites is an already existing skin condition. Because the parasitic bugs eat dead skin, conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, and even acne can attract them to you. They may not start out on your eyelids, but they will eventually congregate there because of the protection, food, and moisture the lashes near your eyeballs provide.
However, you do not have to have a skin condition to be at risk. If you are in the habit of sharing makeup brushes or makeup, you never know when you may be using products from someone who already has mites in their eyelashes. Since the mites can be carried from the person's eyelids to the makeup, they can then transfer to your lashes.
Symptoms Caused by Eyelash Mites
It is not common to have an infestation of the mites, but it is fairly common for people to have a few lurking about in their eyelashes. Because their numbers are so few, they do not cause any symptoms.
However, if you have a full-blown infestation, they will start having symptoms because of the infestation. At first, you may start to have red, irritated eyes that feel itchy, especially when you first get up in the morning. However, since these are also allergy symptoms, you may dismiss them as such.
Once the infestation worsens, you will start to develop scaly patches along the eyelash lines on your eyelids, along with a burning sensation on your eyeballs. Eventually, if the condition is not treated, you may experience severe inflammation and have constant discharge from your eyes, both of which can affect your ability to see.
Since these tiny mites can only be seen under a microscope, you will need to be examined by an ophthalmologist to be properly diagnosed. Once an eyelash mite infestation has been confirmed, the doctor can discuss your treatment options, such as a medicated ointment, to help get rid of the parasites living in your lashes.
Contact a vision clinic, like Idaho Eye and Laser center, for more assistance.