What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a condition of the eyes. The affected area of the eyes is usually the eyelid; more specifically around the eyelash area. This condition causes inflammation of the eyelid. In most cases this condition is chronic; meaning it will not go away completely once treated, and a person suffering from this condition may experience relapses. Blepharitis occurs when the oil glands along the eyelash line do not function properly, causing swollen, itchy, and irritated eyes. In some instances a secondary infection or problem is the underlying cause that will bring a person’s blepharitis condition to light.
Other problems that can cause blepharitis are a bacterial infection, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, allergies, or eyelash mites. A person dealing with this condition may also experience a breakout of other conditions such as a sty, chalazion, pink eye, extreme moisture or dryness of the eye, cornea injury, or scarring to the eyelid.
Signs and Symptoms to Watch for
A doctor is the only one capable of properly diagnosing blepharitis, but if you are worried that you might have this condition, there are some symptoms to look for.
- loss of eyelashes
- abnormal eyelash growth
- sensitivity to light
- crusted eyelashes in the morning
- red eyes
- swollen eyes
- itchy eyes
- greasy eyelids
- burning sensation in the eye
After you have compared the symptoms you are experiencing to the symptoms caused by blepharitis, make an appointment with your doctor to see if you need to undergo treatment.
How to Treat Blepharitis
There are different treatment options for this condition, however a doctor most likely will not prescribe the use of anti-fungal eye drops as blepharitis is at times caused by a bacteria and not a fungus.
One of the top treatments for this condition is proper eye care. Your doctor may have you take steps to keep your eyelids clean. This may be to apply a warm compress to your eyes to enable you to clean crusted over eyelashes. You may also be told to gently clean your eyelash line a few times a day with a cotton swab or soft washcloth that has been submerged into a solution of baby shampoo and water. Some other treatment options your doctor might prescribe for you are antibiotic eye drops, antibiotic creams or ointments, eye drops or ointments containing a steroid, or lubricating eye drops. After trying one, or a combination of these treatments your doctor may then try treating any underlying causes that may be contributing to your condition.
Remember that blepharitis is usually a chronic condition so once your symptoms have been cleared, it is not unlikely for them to return again shortly after. Even after your condition has cleared, it’s a good idea to continue in proper hygienic care of your eyes and eyelids. Continuing to clean your eyes using baby shampoo is a great preventative measure to take.