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H. Kim, S. Lee, J. Kim, Y. Chun, J. Kim; The Relationship Between Demodex and Ocular Discomfort. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):2499.
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To estimate the prevalence of Demodex in eyelashes and the relationship between Demodex and ocular manifestations.
100 patients with ocular discomfort underwent the epilation of 8 eyelashes (2 eyelashes each in both upper and lower eyelids). The number of Demodex was counted. The patients also answered questionnaires (Ocular Surface Disease Index©) about their ocular discomfort and underwent ophthalmic examinations including slit lamp biomicroscopic examinations, tear film breakup times, and Shirmer tests. We analyzed the relationship between the prevalence of Demodex and items noted in the questionnaires and examinations.
Demodex was found in 77 of the 100 tested patients. 466 counts of Demodex were found in 800 eyelashes. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of Demodex between men and women. The number of Demodex showed significant positive correlations with increased age and ocular discomfort. Tear film breakup times showed significant negative correlations with Demodex counts. But The Shirmer scores were unrelated to the prevalence of Demodex. The number of Demodex in patients with conjunctival papillary hypertrophy was significantly more than those without conjunctival papillary hypertrophy.
The number of Demodex in eyelashes shows a positive correlation with ocular discomfort. So we posit that Demodex induces changes in the ocular surface and the eradication of ocular Demodex will be an important treatment for ocular surface disorders as well as ocular discomfort. `
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