What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis commonly causes sore, red eyelids and results in inflammation of the same. It is also likely that your eyelashes will be crusty if you have blepharitis and they also become red and irritated. You may feel some itchiness. Dandruff-like scales may develop on your eyelashes. This eye disorder is quite common and can be caused by a skin condition or bacteria. While it can affect people of all ages, recent studies have revealed that young people are more likely to be affected.
However, the condition is not contagious and does not usually result in permanent vision damage. The two types of blepharitis include anterior blepharitis, which affects the outside front of the eyelid in which the eyelashes attach and posterior blepharitis, which occurs at the inner edge of your eyelid adjacent to your eyeball.
Symptoms, Causes and When to See the Doctor
Signs and symptoms of blepharitis include red eyes, watery eyes, itchy eyelids, greasy eyelids, red and swollen eyelids, a gritty and stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, flaky skin around your eyes, loss of eyelashes, increased sensitivity to light, eyelid sticking, abnormal growth of eyelashes, crusty eyelashes after sleep, and more frequent blinking.
There are numerous causes of blepharitis and some of them include dry eyes, bacterial eyelid infection, Demodex eyelash mites, and similar parasites or Meibomian gland dysfunction among others.
Blepharitis and dry eyes tend to take place simultaneously, thereby causing a lot of confusion regarding which one causes or comes before the other. This commonly happens and some eye practitioners now believe the two are behind the DEBS (dry eye blepharitis syndrome), which is a chronic eye problem. They also believe that dry eye represents the late manifestation of DEBS and treating blepharitis could help to prevent, minimize or get rid of dry eye symptoms.
It is important to remember that the exact causes of this condition remain unclear, but some of the factors that have been commonly associated with the same include a bacterial infection; rosacea, a form of skin condition that causes facial redness; seborrheic dermatitis, which causes the eyebrows and scalp to show dandruff symptoms; lice or eyelash mites; allergies, such as allergic reactions to contact lens solutions, eye medications, and eye makeup; and malfunctioning or clogged oil glands in the eyelids.
If blepharitis symptoms do not seem to disappear or improve even after taking the steps necessary to improve hygiene and overall cleanliness of the affected area, then it is perhaps time to visit your eye doctor before things get worse.
The typical blepharitis treatment should begin with a trip to the eye doctor’s office to establish what’s causing the eyelid inflammation. A thorough examination will reveal whether you have blepharitis and the doctor will recommend the most appropriate treatment option. Some of the treatment options may include gentle eyelid scrubs, which gets rid of the buildup of biofilm and eliminates excess bacteria accumulated in your lid margins. Daily warm compresses can also effectively reduce the bacteria on your eyelids.
Other cleaning agents you may use are prescription eyelid cleansers and diluted baby shampoo. Topical medicines may also be prescribed to eliminate blepharitis and microbes that cause it. Sometimes the eye doctor may recommend BlephEx treatment, Thermal pulsation treatment, or Intense pulsed light therapy.
Blepharitis is a chronic condition and may keep coming back if you do not take the steps necessary to prevent its recurrence. Always clean your eyelids daily so that there is no buildup of bacteria on your eyelid margin. However, you should always see your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether you have blepharitis and get started on the right treatment plan.