Is Demodex Blepharitis Connected With Cataract Surgery?

Ilan Feldman, Judit Krausz, Oz Levinkron, Joel Gutovitz, Natalia Edison, Eyal Cohen, Mark Krauthammer, Daniel Briscoe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To determine whether there is an increased incidence of Demodex of the eyelashes among patients after cataract extraction surgery. DESIGN: Prospective, noncomparative clinical study. METHODS: A cohort of patients who underwent cataract extraction surgery had several eyelashes removed preoperatively that were examined independently by the hospital laboratory for the presence of the Demodex mite. This was repeated 3 weeks after surgery. During several postoperative weeks, patients received the standard treatment of steroid drops alone for a period as individually required. RESULTS: A total of 62 patients were included in the study (31 men and 31 women), with a mean age of 71.04 years (range, 47-87). In the group positive for Demodex, the male-to-female ratio was 2:3 (P = .2772). Demodex colonization was observed in 22.58% of samples before cataract surgery and in 32.26% after cataract surgery and topical postoperative steroid therapy (P = .0143). CONCLUSIONS: There is a statistically significant increase in Demodex colonization of eyelashes after cataract surgery and postoperative topical steroid treatment. Although Demodex colonization does not necessarily cause blepharitis, our findings of increased colonization should raise the possibility of Demodex blepharitis being considered by ophthalmologists in patients with chronic postoperative eye discomfort after cataract surgery. This study was carried out at the Emek Medical Center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


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