Blepharitis is a common eyelid inflammation that sometimes is associated with a bacterial eye infection, symptoms of dry eyes or certain types of skin conditions such as Acne rosacea
Blepharitis has two basic forms:
- Anterior blepharitis, affecting the outside front of the eyelid where eyelashes are attached.
- Posterior blepharitis, linked to dysfunction of meibomian glands within the eyelids that secrete oils to help lubricate the eye.
It’s common to have a mixture of both anterior and posterior forms of blepharitis at the same time, but in different degrees of severity.
Although eye doctors commonly diagnose blepharitis, it can be difficult to find permanent relief of the symptoms that can include burning, flaking, crusting, tearing, irritation, itching, redness in eyelid margins and a foreign body sensation
Treatment for Blepharitis
Eyelid hygiene is the cornerstone of treatment for most cases of blepharitis.
Besides a program of eyelid hygiene, the severity of the blepharitis and related symptoms may require supplemental treatment with topical and oral medicine.
In some cases of posterior blepharitis, eye doctors recommend nutritional supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids, such as flaxseed oil, to aid healthy function of meibomian glands that provide essential lubrication for eye and eyelid comfort.
- staphylococcal blepharitis
- Seborrheic blepharitis
- demodex blepharitis
- meibomian blepharitis
- Rosacea blepharitis
Good Eyelid Hygiene Relieves Blepharitis Symptoms
Blepharitis can be difficult to manage because it is often chronic, meaning that it never goes away completely. Your eye doctor may recommend one or more of these steps involving good eyelid hygiene and massage:
Use a cotton-tipped swab to apply cleaning solution recommended by your eye doctor. Rub gently around the edges of your upper and lower eyelids, but do not get cleaning solution in your eye. Bottom: The goal of blepharitis treatment is to return your eyelids to a normal, healthy state.
- Apply a warm compress such as a washcloth to the outer eyelids.
- Cleanse the eyelids with a commercial lid scrub or other recommended product.
- Gently massage the outer eyelids.
A warm compress loosens the crust on your eyelids and eyelashes before you clean them. The warmth also can loosen any blocked residue in the oil-secreting meibomian glands in your eyelids.
To use a warm compress
- Wash your hands, then dampen a clean washcloth with warm water.
- Place the washcloth over your closed eyes for several minutes.
- Open your eyes, and then use fingers to rub gently around the outer eyelids in a circular motion. Don’t press too hard on the eyeball.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations on how often to use a compress and how long it should be kept in place.
When you first begin treatment, your eye doctor may suggest that you do this several times daily, for about five minutes each time. Later on, you might apply the compress once daily for a few minutes.
Cleaning the eyelids is essential to blepharitis treatment. Your doctor will recommend what cleansing agent to use, such as warm water only, baby shampoo diluted with warm water or a special over-the-counter product made specifically for cleansing the lids.
To clean eyelids
- Wash your hands, then dip a clean washcloth, cotton swab or gauze pad into your cleaning solution.
- Make sure you squeeze out any excess moisture.
- Gently wipe across your lashes and lid margin.
- Rinse with cool water.
- Repeat the process for your other eye, but use a different washcloth, swab or pad.
Is There a Cure for Blepharitis?
A complete blepharitis cure may not exist. But as explained above, good eyelid hygiene and prescription medicine are often effective in managing blepharitis, while warm compresses and lid massages can help unclog obstructed meibomian glands. Our optometrists can help you with in-office treatment to fix this problem faster