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Blepharitis

Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) is a common condition leading to grittiness in the eyes, redness of the eyes and eyelids, sore eyes, blurring of vision, crusting of the eyelashes and the formation of cysts and styes. It can be managed conservatively but occasionally requires medication. Mr Yadav is an oculoplastic surgeon who specialises in diseases of the eyelid and will advise you on the correct course of treatment.   

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What causes blepharitis?

In most people there are usually no specific causes of blepharitis but certain forms become more common with age.  Certain skin conditions such as acne rosacea and allergic conditions like asthma can predispose you to developing it.   

Is all blepharitis the same?
 

No. There are two main types. Anterior blepharitis refers to mainly inflammation affecting the front portion of the eyelid and eye lashes. Patients get crustiness and flaking at of the eyelashes and their roots. In posterior blepharitis it is the special glands found on the back part of the eyelid (closer to the eye) that become blocked. Some patients have both forms. Treatment can differ for each.  

Will it get better by itself?

 

No. Blepharitis is a chronic condition and usually requires life-long management to keep symptoms at bay. If not managed, it can often lead to lid lumps like a stye or chalazion developing. 

How is blepharitis treated?

Usually it is treated with lid hygiene and Mr Yadav will advise you on how to do this once he has assessed which type of blepharitis you have. Occasionally, you may be prescribed medication by Mr Yadav including lubricating eye drops (artificial tears), antibiotic eye drops, antibiotic tablets and anti-inflammatory drops.  

More on blepharitis

Blepharitis is a common and persistent eye condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelids. This condition often leads to discomfort, irritation, and redness around the eyes. Understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for managing and alleviating its effects on eye health.

Causes of Blepharitis

Blepharitis can occur due to various factors, often stemming from issues related to eyelid hygiene, bacterial infections, or underlying skin conditions. Some primary causes include:

  1. Bacterial Infections: Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, can flourish on the skin of the eyelids, leading to inflammation.

  2. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: Dysfunction of the meibomian glands, responsible for producing the oily part of tears, can result in an imbalance of tear composition and subsequent inflammation.

  3. Seborrheic Dermatitis: People with seborrheic dermatitis—a skin condition causing scaly patches on the scalp and face—are more prone to developing blepharitis.

  4. Eyelash Mites: Demodex mites residing in the hair follicles of eyelashes may contribute to blepharitis when their population increases.

  5. Allergic Reactions: Allergies to eye makeup, contact lens solutions, or environmental factors can trigger symptoms of blepharitis.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Symptoms of blepharitis can vary in severity and may include:

  • Redness and swelling of the eyelids

  • Itchiness or a burning sensation in the eyes

  • Crusty or greasy eyelids

  • Excessive tearing or dry eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Blurred vision

  • Flaking or crusting at the base of the eyelashes

Treatment Options

While blepharitis is a chronic condition that might not have a definitive cure, its symptoms can be managed effectively through various treatment strategies:

  1. Eyelid Hygiene: Regular and proper eyelid hygiene is crucial. Using warm compresses and gentle eyelid scrubs can help remove debris and decrease bacterial load.

  2. Medicated Eyelid Cleansers: Healthcare providers may recommend specific cleansers or eyelid scrubs containing ingredients like tea tree oil or baby shampoo to manage bacterial growth.

  3. Antibiotics: For severe cases, antibiotic ointments or eye drops may be prescribed to combat bacterial infection.

  4. Lid Massage and Expression: Techniques involving lid massage and gentle expression of the meibomian glands can help improve oil flow and relieve symptoms.

  5. Management of Underlying Conditions: If blepharitis is associated with other conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, treating the underlying condition can help alleviate symptoms.

  6. Artificial Tears: Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can help manage dry eye symptoms associated with blepharitis.

  7. Avoidance of Irritants: Identifying and avoiding potential irritants like makeup, contact lens solutions, or allergens can prevent exacerbation of symptoms.

Seeking Professional Advice

Individuals experiencing symptoms of blepharitis should seek advice from an ophthalmologist. They can provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to the specific type and severity of the condition.

In conclusion, while blepharitis can be uncomfortable and persistent, effective management strategies can significantly alleviate its symptoms and improve eye health. Consistent eyelid hygiene and appropriate medical interventions can help individuals successfully manage this condition and reduce its impact on daily life.

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