Demodex Blepharitis

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Blepharitis is an inflammatory disease process of the eyelid(s) and hair follicles of the eyelashes, associated with a bacterial eye infection, symptoms of dry eyes or certain types of skin conditions such as acne Rosacea.

There are three different main types of blepharitis

  1. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front part of the eyelid, where the eyelashes are located. The two most plausible causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria (Staphylococcus) and scalp dandruff.
  2.  Posterior blepharitis affects the part of the eyelid that makes contact with the eye and is caused by problems with the oil (meibomian) glands in this part of the eyelid. Two skin disorders can cause this form of blepharitis: Acne Rosacea, which leads to red and inflamed skin, and scalp dandruff (seborrhoeic dermatitis)
  3.  Mixed blepharitis, affects the entire lid margin.

Demodex Blepharitis

Demodex Blepharitis infestation can lead to eye irritation, burning and itching of the eyes, erythematous eyelid margins with typical cylindrical dandruff, dry eye and visual complaints such as blurred vision.

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The severity of the eye lid margin disease not only corresponds with an increased number of Demodex. But it is also dependant on the number of bacillus Oleronius suggesting a link

between Demodex and bacillus Oleronius and the severity of blepharitis. The mite’s digestive system is so efficient and results in so little waste that they have no excretory anus. Bacillus
Oleronius has been detected inside Demodex mites, suggesting that this bacterium could aid digestion in the mite .

Scientists have found that the bacillus Oleronius bacteria parasite may act as a carrier, which most probably functions as a co-pathogen in the development of severe forms of blepharitis. The Demodex mite and/or its secretions have been suggested as a causative agent for the inflammation seen in blepharitis. Demodex mites can cause blepharitis by carrying bacteria on their surface including Streptococci and Staphylococci. Moreover,these bacteria produce proteins that can activate neutrophils. These netrophils  are responsible for the production of inflammatory cytokines implicated in the induction of Rosacea .

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