Woman Complained of ‘Itchy Eyes,’ Then Doctors Make Unusual Find in Her Eyelashes

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
December 12, 2017World News
Woman Complained of ‘Itchy Eyes,’ Then Doctors Make Unusual Find in Her Eyelashes
(Via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

A Chinese woman had more than 100 parasites living in her eyes, and she only got treatment after complaining about “itchy eyes,” according to a report.

The woman, known only as Ms. Xu, told doctors in Wuhan, Hubei Province, that she had itchy, red eyes for about two years but got used to them and didn’t know the reason why, according to MailOnline.

Doctors asked her a few questions, and they revealed that she had used the same pillowcase since 2012.

She had been treating the symptoms with over-the-counter eye drop medication.

However, the problem only got worse. She was left with a crusty residue on her eyelashes, and her eyelids got stuck together.

Doctors were then shocked to find that there were more than 100 eyelash mites were found on her lids, according to MailOnline, noting that one eyelash follicle had more than 10 mites on it.

Ms. Xu was diagnosed with blepharitis and conjunctivitis.

Doctors said she made a recovery after the treatment.

Wuhan, China (Google Maps)

According to Norman Herskovich, an optometrist at Elite Family Eye Care, in Fort Lauderdale, the mites are most active while people sleep.

“They try to avoid light, so what ends up happening, as awkward as this sounds, when we go to bed at night they come out and they mate, and they will actually reproduce. They have a two- to three-week cycle and will eventually die, but their offspring will continue the process,” said Herskovich, CBS News reported.

There are around 65 species of mites that live on animals’ hair follicles, known as Demodex.

There are around 65 species of mites that live on hair follicles, known as Demodex. (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

“One can conclude that wherever mankind is found, hair follicle mites will be found and that the transfer mechanism is 100% effective! (One of my students noted it was undoubtedly the first invertebrate metazoan to visit the moon!)” according to mite specialist William Nutting in 1976.


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