The growing popularity of eyelash extensions has led optometrists to issue warnings about "eyelash lice".

Health experts are finding people with eyelash extensions can have mites crawling around their eyes and optometrists say they are seeing more such cases.

The medical term for the condition is Demodex.

Because the issue is not widely known, experts say people who wear eyelash extensions do not clean them enough.


That lack of cleaning the strands can lead to an increase in bacteria, which can even lead to infections.

Symptoms can include itchiness, redness and inflammation, and, in some cases, mites.

Those mites, called Demodex, live on the hair follicles and can be transferred to anyone.

"Generally the idea when you have eyelash extensions is that people are afraid to kind of touch them or wash them because they're afraid the eyelash will fall out," Dr Sairah Malik told ABC7.

She urges those who use extensions to clean them regularly.

"We recommend Tea Tree base cleanser. Any cleanser that has a diluted form of Tea Tree, and it is a good idea to use on a daily basis."

Demodex can also form if people remove eye make-up improperly.