Blepharitis

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids.

About


Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids in which they become red, irritated and itchy with dandruff-like scales that form on the eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either bacteria or a skin condition, such as dandruff of the scalp or rosacea.

Everyone has some bacteria on their skin. Some people, however, have more bacteria at the base of their eyelashes than other people. This can cause dandruff-like flakes to form. Also, some people have problems with oil glands in their eyelids, leading to blepharitis.

Symptoms


Gritty or burning sensation in their eyes
Excessive tearing, itching, red and swollen eyelids
Dry eyes or crusting of the eyelids
For some people, blepharitis causes only minor irritation and itching.
It can lead to more severe symptoms, such as blurring of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissue, particularly the cornea. By touching and rubbing the irritated area, a secondary infection can also result.

What causes Blepharitis?

Everyone has some bacteria on their skin. Some people, however, have more bacteria at the base of their eyelashes than other people. This can cause dandruff-like flakes to form. Also, some people have problems with oil glands in their eyelids, leading to blepharitis.

Prevention

In many cases, good hygiene can help control blepharitis. This includes frequently washing the scalp and face, using warm compresses to soak the eyelids and scrubbing the eyelids. When a bacterial infection is causing or accompanies blepharitis, antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed.

Treatment


Treatment depends on the type of blepharitis. The key to treating most types of blepharitis is keeping the lids clean and free of crusts.

Warm compresses

Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and wring it out until somewhat dry. Place the washcloth over your closed eyes for at least 1 minute. Wet the washcloth as often as needed so it stays warm. This will help loosen the flakes sticking around your eyelashes. It also helps keep nearby oil glands from clogging.

There’s also an electronic device that uses heat and massage to unclog the oil glands in your eyelids. The treatments are done in the office by your ophthalmologist.

Eyelid scrubs

Soak a clean washcloth, cotton swab (Q-tip) applicator, or lint-free pad in baby shampoo diluted in warm water. Then use it to gently scrub the base of your eyelashes. Scrub for about 15 seconds.

Antibiotics

Your ophthalmologist may have you use an antibiotic ointment on your eyes. Put a small amount of ointment on a clean fingertip or a cotton swab (Q-tip). Gently apply the ointment to the base of your eyelashes. Do this just before bedtime, or as your doctor recommends. Your doctor might also prescribe an antibiotic medicine for you to take by mouth.

Eye drops

Artificial tears or steroid eye drops may reduce redness, swelling and dry eye. Your ophthalmologist might prescribe an antibiotic eye drop to help the oil glands work better.

Skin and eyelid hygiene

It is very important to keep your eyelids, skin and hair clean. This keeps your blepharitis symptoms under control. Carefully wash your eyelashes every day with baby shampoo diluted in warm water. Also, wash your hair, scalp and eyebrows with an antibacterial shampoo. There are some new antiseptic sprays you can use on the skin that keep bacteria from growing too much.

Would you recommend us to a friend?

Would you recommend us to a friend?

Would you recommend us to a friend?