A Chinese woman who sought treatment for her itchy eyes was found to have more than 100 parasites living in her eyelashes. The woman, only known as Ms. Xu, told doctors in Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei that she had suffered itchy, red eyes for two years but had only got used to the condition. When doctors probed her home hygiene, she admitted to having used the same unwashed pillowcase since 2012. The woman had lived with the condition for more than two years and told doctors that she treated the itchiness with over-the-counter eye drops.
When the problem suddenly worsened, she ended up with so many crusty deposits on her eyelashes that her eyelids stuck together. During an examination, doctors were shocked to find more than 100 eyelash mites on her eyelids, Chinese media reports. One Chinese news website wrote that one single follicle was home to a colony of ten eyelash mites.
Woman’s ‘scratchy eyes’ problem turns out to be caused by a hundred parasites residing in her EYELASHES after she went without washing her pillowcases for five years
Doctors said a combination of not washing her pillowcase for five years, and a lack of airflow in the woman’s bedroom had allowed the mites to build up to such a harmful level. She was diagnosed with blepharitis and conjunctivitis, inflammation of the base of the eyelashes and the eye. She reportedly made a full recovery after treatment.
Two species of eyelash mite are found in humans, Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis, with some studies suggesting that almost every adult is infected with at least a few of them.