LIFESTYLE

Eye Mites: Hundreds Of Tiny Parasitic Mites May Be Living In Your Eyelashes

They can cause permanent blurred vision if left untreated.

12/05/2016 11:39

If you love nothing more than snuggling up close with your pets, you may want to book an appointment with your doctor or optician. 

Demodex mites, also known as eye mites, can be passed from animals to humans and love nothing more than bedding down in your eyelashes. 

If the tiny parasitic mites get out of hand, they can cause permanent damage including blurred vision and dry eyes.

In the video above, CBS Miami reporter Ted Scouten went for a checkup with Dr Norman Herskovich after he found out he was living with eye mites two months ago. 

Dr Herskovich said Scouten probably contracted the mites because the reporter used to sleep with his cats and allowed them to climb on his pillows.

"Demodex are found everywhere...but when patients have pets I tend to find they have more demodex in their eyes than non-pet owners," he said. 

CBS Miami
Demodex

Unfortunately, moist hair follicles make the perfect breeding ground for the mites, which is why they're often attracted to eyelashes. 

"They try to avoid light, so what ends up happening, as awkward as it sounds, is that when we go to bed at night they come out and they mate," Dr Herskovich explained.

Eyelash mites are fairly common, particularly among older people. Previous research from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found that over 80% of people will have colonisation of their eyelashes by demodex.

Scouten has been soothing his eyelashes with tea tree oil for the past two months, but in the video he is seen having the next stage of treatment - eyelid exfoliation.  

The process removes mites and bacteria from the lid margins and takes about twenty minutes to complete.

Due to the longterm health risks associated with large infestations, Dr Herskovich said it's important for everyone to get their eyes checked by a doctor or optician regularly, even if they don't need glasses. 

Top Foods For Eyesight

Also on HuffPost

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS