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 gotten 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.
After examination, Xu was diagnosed by the physicians with Conjunctivitis, inflammation or swelling of the conjunctiva, the thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, and Blepharitis, irritation, and inflammation of the eyelids. Chinese media also noted that more than 10 mites were found in a single eyelash follicle.
Eyelash mites, or also known as Demodex folliculitis, are parasites that can be found in the hair follicles on human faces. They are mostly found in the nose, cheeks, and in Xu’s case, eyelash area. Eyelash mites are usually benign, and most people will never notice they have these.