Demodex mites infestation, typically asymptomatic, is a problem for patients with weakened immune systems because it often takes the form of symptomatic, massive infection. The Demodex mites play an important role in the occurrence of a range of eye surface diseases such as Demodex blepharitis, Meibomian gland dysfunctions, conjunctivitis and corneal changes. The ocular infection is closely related to the systemic invasion. Our goal was to minimize infestation and alleviate the symptoms of massive demodicosis so as to prevent further damage to the cornea.
Our research note involves a 61-year old woman diagnosed with secondary Sjögren syndrome due to rheumatoid arthritis. On the background of the autoimmune disease, corneal perforation of the left eye occurred that was cured by surgery. Then during the follow-up visit the patient was found (microscopically) massively infected with Demodex mites and the developed symptoms were particularly severe.
Adequate dry eye syndrome and massive demodicosis therapy significantly reduced the number of Demodex mites and improved the patient’s condition.
We would like to draw the attention of the physicians of different specialties that special care should be taken with respect to the therapy of dry eye syndrome and ocular demodicosis in patients with immunological disorders to achieve therapeutic success and avoid particularly dangerous consequences of these diseases.