Demodex blepharitis (DB) and its symptoms

It’s more common than you think

It’s estimated that Demodex blepharitis (DB) affects nearly 25 million eye care patients in the US.1,2 That’s 1 out of every 12 adults. Demodex blepharitis may be commonly misdiagnosed since other eye diseases share similar symptoms.1,3 So you could be living with it without even knowing.

It’s an overgrowth of mites

Microscopic mites can exist on anyone’s body. When mite populations begin to grow out of control, they become infestations. These types of infestations commonly grow in and around the eyelids. This overgrowth of mites often leads to Demodex blepharitis.

Video Credit: Eric Rosenberg, DO
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Common signs of unhealthy eyelids

  • Redness
  • Itching along the eyelid base
  • Inflammation
  • Dry eye
  • Misdirected eyelashes
Image Credit: Erick Henderson, OD
closeup of eyelid and eyelashes afflicted with crusties also known as collarettes

Feeling discomfort? You’re not alone

Patients with Demodex blepharitis commonly experience worries as well as disruptions in their daily life, that can include:2

  • Negative appearance of eyes or eyelids
  • Feeling conscious of eyes throughout the day
  • Constantly worrying about eyes
closeup of dark-skinned man’s closed eye

Collarettes on the eyelashes are a clear sign of Demodex blepharitis

Ever noticed crusty residue in and around the base of the eyelashes? Those could be collarettes—the crusty flake buildup that Demodex mites leave behind. Collarettes on eyelashes signal a Demodex blepharitis (DB) condition. 100% of patients with collarettes have Demodex blepharitis.1,4

Demodex blepharitis: the full story

Here’s what you need to know about Demodex blepharitis and what you should do if you think you’ve got it.

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1. Trattler W, Karpecki P, Rapoport Y, et al. The Prevalence of Demodex Blepharitis in US Eye Care Clinic Patients as Determined by Collarettes: A Pathognomonic Sign. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2022;16:1153–1164.
2. O’Dell L, Dierker DS, Devries DK, et al. Psychosocial Impact of Demodex Blepharitis. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2022;16:2979-2987. 
3. Fromstein S, Harthan J, Patel J, et al. Demodex blepharitis: clinical perspectives. Clinical Optometry. 2018;10:57–63. 
4. Gao YY, Di Pascuale MA, Li W, et al. High Prevalence of Demodex in Eyelashes with Cylindrical Dandruff. Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Science. 2005;46(9):3089-3094.

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