What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the eyelids especially in the area of the eyelashes. The severity and duration can vary significantly. In many cases it is a long standing problem. Chronic blepharitis contributes to the development of dry eye syndrome by causing meibomian gland disease. It can be caused by a variety of processes.
Etiology of Blepharitis
Combination of seborrhea and staph infection
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Redness of the eyelids
Crusting or mattering on the lid margin and eyelashes
Scaling or flaking of the skin on the eyelids
Red and inflamed eye
Eye irritation and itching
Frequent hordeolums or chalazions
Treatment with antibiotics and in some cases corticosteroids is the main form of medical treatment.
The most important part of treatment in blepharitis is lid hygiene.
Warm compresses should be applied first thing in the morning. Take a clean wash cloth and place it in hot water (not hot so it may burn you) and apply it to the area around your eyes. When the cloth cools down place it back in the water and keep the eyelids heated up for five to ten minutes.
Lid scrubs are done to remove the crusted material on the eyelashes, help disinfect the area, and stimulate the meibomian glands. This should be done every morning after the warm compresses.
Lid scrubs may be done with a Q-tip and Johnson’s baby shampoo. You wet the Q-tip and put a drop of baby shampoo on the Q-tip and scrub the eyelashes while keeping the eyes open, scrub the area around the eyelashes, and rinse off.
Lid scrubs also can be done with commercially made lid hygiene products which include:
Lid Scrub Pre-Moistened Pads (pre-prepared moistened pads)
Lid Scrub Solution (fluid cleanser)
LidHygienix (fluid cleanser to use with sterile pads or cotton balls)
Sterilid (foaming cleanser)
Stygiene (fluid cleanser with pads)
Blepharitis is a common chronic inflammation of the eyelids. Long term it causes damage to the meibomian glands in the eyelid. The meibomian glands are responsible for secreting a necessary element in the normal tear film. Meibomian gland dysfunction may be responsible for nearly seventy percent of cases of dry eye syndrome which is also a very common eye disease. Lid hygiene is the major component in treating blepharitis.