Demodex treatment in external ocular disease: the outcomes of a Tasmanian case series

Int Ophthalmol. 2016 Oct;36(5):691-6. doi: 10.1007/s10792-016-0188-5. Epub 2016 Feb 2.


Demodex species (spp.) have previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of blepharitis. This study aims to correlate improvement in symptoms of external ocular disease with treatment of underlying Demodex spp. This is a prospective, observational case series of patients with chronic external ocular disease. Demodicosis was confirmed by microscopic examination of epilated eyelashes. The main outcome measure was response to the treatment (5 % tee tree oil) in regard to change in subjective symptoms utilising a symptom-based patient questionnaire assessment. Overall patients had a good response to the treatment in terms of improvement or resolution of symptoms, with 91 % of patients reporting at least some improvement in symptoms. The treatment of underlying Demodex spp. appears to result in improvement of symptoms in patients with long standing external ocular disease and underlying Demodex spp. infestation.

Keywords: Blepharitis; Demodex spp; Dry eye disease; External ocular disease; Tea tree oil.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Conjunctivitis / drug therapy*
  • Conjunctivitis / parasitology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / drug therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / parasitology
  • Eye Infections, Parasitic / drug therapy*
  • Eye Infections, Parasitic / parasitology
  • Eyelashes / parasitology
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Eyelid Diseases / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meibomian Glands / drug effects
  • Meibomian Glands / parasitology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mite Infestations / drug therapy*
  • Mite Infestations / parasitology
  • Mites*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tea Tree Oil / administration & dosage
  • Tea Tree Oil / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Tea Tree Oil