Blepharitis is a common eye disorder, in which your eyelids accumulate build-up around their edges, causing them to become red or inflamed. The buildup may be in form of an oily discharge or scaly skin.
Other symptoms which are commonly displayed include excessive tearing or itching of the eyes, mild irritation, and dry eyes with a crusted or scaly texture. Given that these may indicate a series of other eye conditions, blepharitis can only be diagnosed by a qualified eye specialist.
It’s also commonly referred to as eyelid inflammation or psoriasis of the eyelids, by eye practitioners. However, blepharitis does not threaten your eyesight, despite the condition causing discomfort.
Forms of Blepharitis
Blepharitis may occur in two different forms, or as a combination of the two. They include:
This condition is characterized by having an excessive discharge of either oil or grease from the skin, around your eyelids. With seborrheic blepharitis, there is also similar discharge on your hair and skin.
This is a bacterial infection, which occurs as a result of other infective eyelid conditions, such as hordeolum (styes).
What Causes Blepharitis?
For anterior blepharitis, which affects the outer parts of your eyelids, bacteria from your hair and eyebrows is the main cause.
Whereas, blepharitis affecting the inner part of your eyelids (posterior), is caused by excessive production of oil by the glands near your eyelashes.
What Are The Treatments?
Blepharitis is a chronic condition and thus cannot be cured. However it can be controlled through observing a few simple hygienic measures.
If you are diagnosed with blepharitis, your eye doctor will recommend keeping your eye lid edges and surrounding skin clean. You will achieve this by regular scrubbing on the area with a mild soap for about 15 seconds on each eyelid, using a clean wash cloth or cotton swab. There are also medicated pads specifically designed for this purpose.
Additionally, warm compresses at least twice a day on your closed eyelids can soften and loosen the scales and debris. The compresses help to liquefy the oil secreted by the oil glands in your eyelids. This is meant to prevent development of a chalazion, which is characterized by an inflamed lump in the oil glands of your eyelids.
Staphylococcal blepharitis can be treated by applying ointments that contain antibiotics and sulfonamides on the edges of your eyelids using a cotton ball.
If your symptoms do not improve with the given treatments, your eye doctor will conduct a further examination and recommend alternative treatments. Other additional treatments include over the counter eye drops to relive the symptoms, and steroids, administered on a short-term basis, to reduce the inflammation.
Before purchasing any over the counter treatments, we advise that you first seek a proper diagnosis from an eye professional. However, if you have been diagnosed with this condition before, and used a given form of treatment, you can then use the suitable over the counter medicine.
In case your blepharitis is infectious, whether you had been diagnosed before or not, it’s best to seek treatment immediately to further reduce the spread, or any increased risk in infection.