Blepharitis and the association with Demodex.
New research has shown many incidences of Blepharitis the common lid scale often apparent on eye lashes in the mornings and Demodex occurring side by side. This recent evidence shows, the older the patient, the greater the likelihood of the human parasite “Demodex” to be present and problematic.
Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the margins of the eyelids. It can involve the eyelids, eyelashes, conjunctiva (whites of the eyes) and the meibomian glands (which lubricate the eyes).
Oils and other products normally secreted by the eye and eyelids build up on the lid surface and eyelashes, resulting in eye irritation and redness. It is a common chronic disorder that can be easily treated and managed, but not cured. Patients will describe this condition as scale or flaky lashes.
The exact cause of blepharitis isn’t clear but it may be associated with many factors such as:
- Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands in the eyelids
- Eyelash mites or lice e.g. demodex
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- A bacterial infection of the lid margins
- Allergies, such as allergies to eye make-up, contact lens solutions or eye make-up
What are the symptoms and signs?
Eye burning, irritation, tearing, foreign body sensations, crusty debris (in the lashes, corner of the eyes or on the lids), dryness, and red eyelid margins are all signs and symptoms of blepharitis. Generally there is an unsightly and unpleasant scaliness of the skin on and around the lid margins.
How can eyelid hygiene help?
A regular routine of eye hygiene is essential in the treatment of blepharitis as it tends to recur and rarely disappears completely. It is important that you clean your eyelids every day, whether or not you are experiencing symptoms. It should be considered part of a daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Daily hygiene helps prevent the build-up of oils and crusted matter around the eyelid and lash area. The use of a specialised cleanser or wipes for daily hygiene such as Ocusoft Plus is recommended.
The massaging action of cleansing greatly helps, as does the application of hot masks and compresses to help with the clogged or malfunctioning eyelid glands.
Lubricating drops can also help to make the eyes feel more comfortable.
Cool compresses can help to soothe the eyes and reduce redness.
What is Demodex?
Demodex is a genus of tiny parasitic mites that live in or near the hair follicles of mammals and in the sebaceous glands. They are frequently referred to as eyelash mites, and are a common cause of blepharitis. Blepharitis and Demodex is discovered much more frequently in the elderly patient with research showing it is found in 84% of the population at age 60 and 100% at age 70.
Preliminary studies also suggest an association between demodex mite infection and rosacea.
How can Ocusoft Plus help?
Ocusoft Plus has a unique leave-on formulation. It offers excellent comfort to patients, and has been shown to be significantly milder than baby shampoo. It is effective against seven different strains of bacteria, therefore it is ideal for the treatment of moderate to severe blepharitis with bacterial involvement or demodex infestation. The demodex mite is a contributing factor to blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction and other eyelid irritations. (Ocular infestation with demodex may be as high as 47%).Ocusoft Lid Scrub Plus, with its unique leave-on formulation effectively kills Demodex.
Ocusoft Plus is available in two forms:
- as a 50ml bottle of foam cleanser, or
- conveniently as a box of 20 pre moistened pads.
Both formulations are effective and easy to use. Ocusoft should be used once daily for optimum effectiveness.
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