Lid Margin Assessment Is Needed to Minimize Demodex Blepharitis Misdiagnosis 

Clinicians can detect Demodex blepharitis by having the patient look down during slit lamp evaluation.

Utilizing a slit lamp examination to search for collarettes is an effective, time-saving procedure for diagnosing Demodex blepharitis, according to a poster presented at the 2023 Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) meeting in Atlanta from March 1 to 5.

Patrick Vollmer, OD, and James Mun, PhD, detailed clinical signs associated with Demodex blepharitis and suggested approaches to managing the condition, which include lid scrubs, oral antibiotics, and ophthalmic steroids or antibiotics. 

The poster presenters highlight the high prevalence of Demodex blepharitis among patients visiting eye care clinics (58%) and stress the condition’s negative effects on daily life. A total of 51% of patients experience signs and symptoms for 4 years or more, 58% are never diagnosed with blepharitis, and 33% make at least 2 (sometimes more than 6) visits to a doctor for the condition. Patients with Demodex blepharitis frequently report itchy eyes (55%), dry eyes (46%), a foreign body sensation (23%), and watery eyes (21%), the poster shows. 

However, the poster presenters state that clinicians can diagnose Demodex blepharitis during slit lamp evaluation by having the patient look down. This will enable the optometrist to view the exposed base of the lashes, which contain the collarettes. 

Disclosure: Both study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. 


Vollmer P, Mun J. Demodex blepharitis or dry eye disease? A case study. Poster presented at: Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry 2023 annual meeting; March 1-5, 2023; Atlanta, GA.