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How to Recognize Symptoms of Eye Parasites

  • Synopsis: Published: 2015-05-25 (Revised/Updated 2017-05-07) - Information regarding Demodex parasites, small mites found at the roots of eyelashes that can cause a range of eye conditions - Thomas C. Weiss (Disabled World).

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Quote: "Even though eye parasites themselves cannot be seen with the unaided eye, there are a few visible symptoms that should always be reported to a doctor for additional evaluation."

Have you ever experienced red, irritated, itchy and gritty feeling eyes that simply do not seem to go away?

Recently, researchers have been finding a high rate of, 'Blepharitis,' or inflammation of the eyelids, is caused by Demodex Parasite infestation. Demodex parasites are small mites found at the roots of a person's eyelashes and might cause an entire spectrum of eye conditions - from irritation and dandruff-like material on the eyelashes to more serious eye inflammation and scarring, or even turning in of the person's eyelashes which constantly irritate and rub the eye.

Two types of the main species exist; Demodex folliculorum tends to be clustered to the root of the person's eyelashes, while Demodex brevis tends to present on an individual basis in the oil glands of the person's eyelid margin. Demodex mites are present on the majority of people in small quantities, as well as on pets people have. People who permit their pets to sleep in their beds often times acquire the bugs from them.

The mites may also be spread on linens and towels from person-to-person. Due to the fact that the mites are nocturnal, they will come out of the person's lash roots while they are asleep to mate and reproduce on the person's skin. The mites then burrow into the person's hair follicles by the time they wake up.

Eye Parasite Symptoms

A number of different types of eye parasites that might infect a person exist. Parasitic infections of the eye may at times be hard to diagnose and treat, so the symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible so the process of testing may begin. Common symptoms of eye parasites include light sensitivity, visual disturbances, or the loss of some or even all of a person's eyelashes. Redness of the person's eye can also happen.

Visual disturbances are a common symptom of eye parasites. The disturbances can include a partial or even total loss of sight. The loss of vision may be temporary or even permanent depending upon the amount of scarring that happens as a result of the parasitic infection.

Light sensitivity, also referred to as, 'photophobia,' can happen because of the presence of eye parasites. People who usually wear contact lenses could find that their eyes are more sensitive to light when they are not wearing their contact lenses. The sensitivity could be mild, or so severe that the person is unable to deal with being exposed to light at all. Migraine headaches often start to develop as the result of sensitivity to light.

Even though eye parasites themselves cannot be seen with the unaided eye, there are a few visible symptoms that should always be reported to a doctor for additional evaluation. For example; if a person's eyes suddenly start to become crossed - particularly if there are also other potential symptoms of parasites present, the affected person should make a prompt trip to visit their doctor. Someone with an eye that has been affected might find their eye becoming consistently reddened when a parasitic infection is present.

In some instances, a small white ulcer might develop around the colored part of the person's eye. Some or all of the person's eyelashes might start to fall out in some people. White flakes may also develop on the top of the person's eyelashes.

In some instances, bacterial infections may develop because of damage done to the eye by the parasite. When this happens, antibiotic therapy is often times required in order to prevent more serious complications. Medicated eye drops, or oral antibiotics, might be used alone or in combination with each other.

Permanent damage might be avoided with an early diagnosis and prompt medical care. Regular eye examinations will often permit a doctor to notice any developing changes prior to the damage becoming severe or even permanent. Due to this reason, any visual changes; particularly in combination with any of the other possible symptoms of eye parasites, need to be reported to a doctor quickly for both evaluation and treatment.

To treat the infestation, lid scrub with 50% tea tree oil in combination with a daily lid hygiene with 5% tea tree oil ointment and shampoo, which may eradicate ocular Demodex. People who receive 50% tea tree oil lid scrub show incredible improvements in the symptoms they experience such as tear film stability, inflammation of the eye, as well as improved vision. The person's Demodex count commonly decreases to zero within a month without recurrence, in most instances.

Related Information:

  1. Why Light Worsens Migraine Headaches - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center - (2010-01-10)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/migraine/bright-light.php
  2. Vitreous Eye Floaters and Flashes of Light - Disabled World - (2014-07-16)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/flashes-of-light.php
  3. Glassy Eyes Causes and Cures - Disabled World - (2009-07-06)
    https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/vision/glassy-eyes.php


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