Getting a proper Demodex blepharitis (DB) diagnosis

How to be certain it’s Demodex blepharitis

Because Demodex blepharitis (DB) shares similar symptoms with other eye conditions, it can easily be overlooked. And while collarettes are a true indicator of DB, they’re often only visible under magnification.1 This is where an eye doctor comes in, since only a doctor can properly diagnose Demodex blepharitis.

What to do if you notice symptoms of Demodex blepharitis

  • If you notice collarettes or experience horizontal itching at the base of the eyelid, it’s time to get your eyelids checked.
  • Make an appointment to see an eye doctor and have them look specifically at your eyelids.
  • Ask your eye doctor about checking your eyelids during an eye exam.
Image Credit: Paul Singh, MD
closeup of eyelid and eyelashes afflicted with demodex blepharitis db

Only an eye doctor can properly diagnose Demodex blepharitis

Once at the eye exam, an eye doctor can examine the eyelids for signs of collarettes—crusty flake buildup in the eyelashes and around the base of the eyelids. This part of the eye exam is performed while the patient looks down. The eye doctor’s diagnosis can lead to proper guidance and management.

closeup of a woman’s closed eye

Start the conversation about Demodex blepharitis

Good eyelid health starts with a good eyelid conversation. Here’s a list of things you can bring up to your eye doctor before, during, and after your next visit:

  • When you schedule your eye exam, let the staff know that you have specific questions regarding your eyelid health.
  • Describe your past and current symptoms and general eyelid health as best as you can and share your overall concerns.
  • During your visit, ask your eye doctor to check your eyelids specifically. This will be performed as you look down during the exam.
  • Once you’ve been properly diagnosed, your eye doctor can go over management options. Let them know what’s working and what’s not.
eye doctor performs eye exam on patient

1. 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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