Eye Health News: Blepharitis

Learn About Blepharitis – A Common Eye Health Problem

Do you wake up with your eyelids sticking together. Does it look like you have greasy flakes around your eyelashes? Are you eyes itchy, burning, red or swollen? You may be suffering from blepharitis.

Blepharitis refers to an eye health condition in the eyes that cause the eyelids to become inflamed. The inflammation typically occurs around the eyelashes and the eyelashes can even become ingrown or fall out as a result. The condition is not contagious and common causes include a bacterial infection or excessive oil gland production near the inner or outer eyelids where the lashes are growing.

Top 10 Blepharitis Symptoms

If you suffer from this eye health problem, both eyes are usually affected. The condition presents itself in both children and adults. If you are experiencing more than one of the following symptoms you may be suffering from blepharitis. Visit a qualified eye doctor, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a complete eye exam to determine the cause of any vision problems you are having.

  1. Burning eyes
  2. Light sensitivity
  3. Crusting of eyelashes
  4. Swollen eyelids
  5. Dry eyes
  6. Gritty sensation in the eyes
  7. Excessive tearing
  8. Itching eyes
  9. Red eyes
  10. Blurry vision

Is there a difference between a stye and blepharitis? A stye is normally a temporary condition whereas blepharitis is often chronic. You can have long periods of remission, where no symptoms occur, but it is extremely likely that blepharitis will flare up again at some point.

Maintaining good eye hygiene is the key to keeping blepharitis under control, however more severe cases require medication. While the scaly discharge associated with this eye health problem can be unsightly, it rarely causes permanent vision problems. Other complications associated with blepharitis include dry eye syndrome, pink eye and permanent scarring of the eyelids.

Common Causes of Blepharitis

Blepharitis can result from a bacterial or viral infection or it can be caused by an allergic reaction or a parasite.

  • Rosacea
  • Allergies
  • Excessive growth of bacteria
  • Seborrhea – when seborrheic dermatitis occurs on the scalp it’s called dandruff

Treatment Options for Blepharitis

Non medical treatments include homemade or commercial eyelid scrubs or warm compresses. More severe cases need medical treatment such as antibiotics or steroids. Nutritional supplements such as flaxseed oil or fish oil, both rich in omega-3 fatty acids may offer relief to anyone suffering from chronic recurring blepharitis.

  • Eye drops
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Oral antibiotics
  • Topical steroids
  • Warm compress
  • Gentle cleansing with a water and baby shampoo solution

When undergoing treatment for blepharitis or other eye care issues, it is recommended you stay away from using eye makeup, at least until you have completed any treatment plan recommended by your eye doctor. If you wear contact lenses, you may want to switch to using prescription glasses while undergoing treatment for blepharitis.

Commons Way to Diagnose and Treat Blepharitis

Schedule a FREE Eye Exam at Stanton Optical if you think you may have blepharitis or are experiencing any other eye concerns. An optometrist, such as the doctors found at Stanton Optical, can give you a comprehensive eye examination for a complete eye health checkup. If any serious eye problems are detected, the Doctor of Optometry may refer you to an ophthalmologist.

The American Optometric Association recommends making a mild solution of baby shampoo mixed with water at a 1-to-4 ratio. Use a soft, clean cotton swab to gently cleanse the area around your eyes and eyelashes a few times per day. You may want to use a warm compress placed across your eyes a few times per day to help loosen any flaking and debris that is present.

Other treatment options include using a dandruff shampoo, as blepharitis can be exacerbated by dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows. Daily eyelid cleaning is the key to keeping blepharitis under control and to help prevent future recurrences. With a bit of daily preventative care you can keep the condition tamed.