April 2014
Volume 55, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2014
Symptoms Associated with the Presence of Demodex folliculorum
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Scott G Hauswirth
    Private Practice, Minnesota Eye Consultants, P.A., Bloomington, MN
    Adjunct Optometric Clinical Faculty, Morris B Ketchum University, Fullerton, CA
  • Scott E Schachter
    Private Practice, Scott E Schachter, OD, PC, Pismo Beach, CA
  • Milton M Hom
    Private Practice, Milton Hom, OD, Azusa, CA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Scott Hauswirth, Alcon (C), Allergan (C), Bausch & Lomb (C), NicOx (C), TearScience (C); Scott Schachter, Allergan (C), BioTissue (R); Milton Hom, Allergan (F), AMO (F), Bausch & Lomb (F)
  • Footnotes
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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2014, Vol.55, 1996. doi:
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      Scott G Hauswirth, Scott E Schachter, Milton M Hom; Symptoms Associated with the Presence of Demodex folliculorum. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):1996.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: Demodex folliculorum is the most common ectoparasite found in humans. While there is evidence linking the presence of increased mite counts to several types of dermatologic and ocular surface diseases, it is also an underdiagnosed condition and often goes untreated. We attempt to illustrate whether the presence of Demodex folliculorum is associated with the symptoms of dry eye or allergy.

Methods: Methods: Multi-site observational study. Consecutive patients at three offices were asked to fill out a multi-section questionnaire consisting of the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), the Subjective Evaluation of Symptom of Dryness (SESoD), the Subjective Evaluation of Frequency of Itch (SEFoI) and the Total Ocular Surface Score (TOSS). Subjects were then evaluated for presence of Demodex mites by the modified Coston technique. If any mites were present, the subjects were included in the study.

Results: Results: Of the 72 patients examined, 36 were male and 36 were female. Mean age was 54.84 (range 12-84). Average number of mites counted per patient was 7.93 (range 1-33). 46/72 (63.9%) had an OSDI score of less than 13 and could be classified as normal, whereas 26/72(36.1%) scored 13 or greater and were classified as being symptomatic for dry eye. In the Subjective Evaluation of Symptom of Dryness (SESoD) section, 55/72(76.4%) could be considered normal with a score of one or less, and 17/72(23.6%) scored higher than one, indicating clinically significant dryness. In the Subjective Evaluation of Frequency of Itch section(SEFoI), 57/72 (79.2%) scored one or less (normal), and 15/72(20.8%) scored higher than one(clinically significant itching). In the Total Ocular Surface Score, 52/72(72.2%) scored 13 or less (normal), and 20/72(27.7%) scored higher than 13 (clinically significant itching).

Conclusions: Conclusions: In all three subsections, the majority of the patients in this study (63.9 to 79.2%) presented with minimal or without symptoms typically associated with dry eye or allergy. This may help to explain why the condition is so often overlooked for treatment.

Keywords: 526 eyelid  

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