The campaign was unveiled at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2022 Annual Meetings in Chicago and San Diego. The “Look at the Lids” is a campaign to encourage eyecare professionals to identify and diagnose Demodex blepharitis in all eyecare patients.
Blepharitis is an eyelid inflammation affecting eyelashes or tear production.
The Demodex mite lives mainly within the hair follicles on the face and the eyes. Demodex is usually found on the eyelids and lashes. These mites naturally occur on the skin in small amounts and can benefit the skin as they remove dead skin cells.
If they do reproduce in large numbers they can cause significant damage to the skin and eyes, severe inflammation of the eyelids, and damage to the oil glands in the eyelid margins and eyelashes.
Demodex blepharitis is a common but underdiagnosed condition. Common symptoms of Demodex blepharitis:
- Dry eyes
- White flakes in your eyelashes
- Burning or stinging eyes or eyelid irritation
- Foreign body sensation
- Intermittent blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Brittle or loss of eyelashes
- Misdirected eyelashes
- Eye or eyelid infections
There is currently no FDA-approved treatment for Demodex blepharitis. The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s recommended treatment plan consists of a combination of antibiotics, topical anti-inflammatory agents, and a daily lid hygiene approach using scrubs, wipes, or gels containing tea tree oil.