What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include; irritation, inching, soreness and redness.
This condition frequently occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin, dandruff, or day eyes. Blepharitis can begin in early childhood, producing granulated eyelids and continue throughout life as chronic, or develop later in life.
Bacteria reside on the surface of everyone's skin, but in certain individuals they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. The resulting irritation, sometimes associated with over activity of the nearby oil glands, causes dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.
For some people the scales or bacteria associated with Blepharitis produce only minor irritation and itching, but in others they may cause redness, stinging or burning. Some people may develop an allergy to the scales or to the bacteria which surround them. This can lead to a more serious complication, inflammation of the eye tissues, particularly the cornea (the clear "front window" of the eye ). Chronic, low-grade inflammation can be associated with dryness, especially in older people.
How is Blepharitis Treated?
Blepharitis is a condition that may not be cured, but it can be controlled with a few simple daily measures:
At least twice a day, wet a washcloth with comfortably warm water, wring it out, and place over the closed eyelids for a minute. Rewet the cloth as it cools, two or three times . This will soften and loosen scales and debris.
More importantly, it helps liquefy the oily secretions from the eyelids' oily gland. With your finger covered with a thin washcloth, cotton swab, or commercial lint-free pad, gently scrub the base of the lashes about 15 seconds per lid.
If an antibiotic ointment has been prescribed, apply a dab at the base of the lashes (usually at bedtime), using your fingertip or a cotton swab. Simple, daily hygienic measures will minimize the following additional medications that might be needed to control Blepharities and its symptoms:
Medications alone are not sufficient; the application of warmth and daily detailed cleansing of the lashes is the key to controlling Blepharities.