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Elizabeth Yeu, Mark J. Holdbrook, Stephanie N. Baba, Paul J Gomes; Psychosocial Impact of Demodex Blepharitis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):1261.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Blepharitis affects approximately 20 million Americans, of whom about 45% have an associated Demodex mite infestation, but the psychosocial effects of Demodex blepharitis are poorly characterized. We retrospectively analyzed a large data set of patients with confirmed Demodex blepharitis to better understand the impact of this condition on quality of life and visual function.
Adult patients (age ≥18) with Demodex blepharitis were examined clinically and asked questions about their daily activities and quality of life. These 311 patients had objective signs of Demodex blepharitis, including the presence of Demodex mites, presence of collarettes (cylindrical dandruff) on the lashes, and lid margin erythema. Questionnaire responses from these 311 patients with confirmed Demodex blepharitis were analyzed.
Among these Demodex blepharitis patients, the majority (80%) said the condition had negatively affected daily life. Women (84%) were more likely than men (72%) to experience a negative impact in one or more areas of daily life. Half of all respondents (47%) said they had difficulty driving at night because of their blepharitis. Nearly one-third (30%) said it added time to their daily hygiene routine. Some patients said that blepharitis had caused them to reduce contact lens wear (8%) or avoid ocular surgery (5%). Patients were emotionally affected, with 47% saying they were conscious of their eyes all day; 23% constantly worrying about their eyes; and 6% saying the condition affected their mental state. Demodex blepharitis also affected respondents’ appearance, with about one-quarter saying it gave their eyes or eyelids a negative appearance to others (23%) and made it difficult for women to wear makeup (34%). A smaller percentage of women (5%) noted discomfort when wearing artificial lashes.
Demodex blepharitis has important functional and psychosocial effects on patients. Effective treatments for this condition may have a positive impact on patients’ quality of life.
This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
Fig. 1: Impact of Demodex Blepharitis on Daily Life
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