Blepharitis is a very common, inflammation of the eyelids which results in irritated eyes and eyelids. Even though blepharitis is frequently seen in patients, it is undiagnosed, yet serves as a major cause of ocular complaints. Blepharitis can usually be treated to help a patient’s eye return to its near normal state.
Symptoms of dry eye, itchiness, redness, and sometimes discharge are often common complaints those dealing with blepharitis face. This condition frequently occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin, dandruff or dry eyes. Blepharitis can accompany rosacea. It may begin in early childhood, producing granulated eyelids and sties. It may continue throughout life as a chronic condition or even develop at a later age.
Eye Anatomy & Blepharitis
Each eye is lubricated by 30-50 oil glands, oriented along the edges of the eyelids. Bacteria that resides on the surface of everyone’s skin can infect of the eyelids and oil glands.
An infection in your eyelids or oil glands can lead to the production of abnormal oils, causing dandruff-like scales and particles to form on your eyelids and lashes. A hordeolum may occur, causing pain, redness. The abnormal oils produced by blepharitis are not optimal to stop the evaporation of water from the tear film, leading to dry, irritated eyes. Ultimately even your vision can be affected by these changes.
- Treatment Options
- Moist Heat A warm compress twice a day for 3-4 minutes over your eyelids will help melt the congealed waxes in the oil glands and loosen debris on your eyelids and lashes. This can allows the oils to flow out of the blocked glands, and it can help to prevent the development of hordeolum.
- Eyelid Massage Closer your eyes and press the edge of the eyelid firmly against your eyeball, forcing the oily secretions out of the blocked eye glands. It typically takes 4-5 compressions along the entire length of each eyelid to complete this important process. This works best after the heat has been applied to the eyelid.
- Hygeine Gently scrub the base of your lashes to remove oils and scales.
- Artificial Tears Artificial tears may be used fpr dry eyes and are available without a prescription.Optive and Soothe work well, for patients with Blepharitis because these tears replace the oily lipid layer of the tear films.
- Steroids and immunomodulators short-term use of a weak steroid may be useful to decrease inflammation. Restasis eye drops may be more effective in treating blepharitis with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Antibiotics may be used to decrease the bacterial content of the eyelids. Doxycycline or Erythromycin taken orally are effective in reducing the inflammation and bacterial load of the oil glands. Treatment will improve comfort and decrease redness of your eyes and eyelids.
- Omega-3 fatty acids A combination of flaxseed and fish oil are useful oral supplement to treat blepharitis and dry eyes.
If you would like to get more information on this or other medical conditions we treat at Optique Professional Eye Care, please call us at (918)743-9918