What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is the inflamation of the eyelid wher ethe eyelashes grow. it happens when the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes become clogged, which leads to irritated eyes or red eyes. Swelling or loss of eyelashes can also ocrurr. Blepharitis is often chronic and it can be diffult to treat. Blepharitis can be caused by investasion of the glands at the base of the eyelashes by a tiney mite known as demodex.
Common signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- A gritty, burning sensation in the eye
- Eyelids that appear greasy
- Itchy eyelids
- Red, swollen eyelids
- Flaking of the skin around the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
- Eyelid sticking
- More frequent blinking
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelashes that grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes)
- Loss of eyelashes
What are the treatments for blepharitis?
At Perspective Optometry, we offer BlephEx® as the gold standard of our blepharitis treatment protocol.
Other treatments for blepharitis include lid hygiene. Sometimes antibiotic ointments, artificial tear and steroid eye drops or even oral antibiotics might be needed. Doctors recommend using products containing tea tree oil for blepharitis related to Demodex foliculorum (a parasitic mite) that can infest the eyelashes.
Long term anti-inflammatory treatment might include prescription medications.
What if I do nothing for my blepharitis?
If you choose not to get treatment for your blepharitis, the following complications could result:
|Eye lash problems||Blepharitis can cause your eyelashes to fall out or grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes).|
|Scarring||Blepharitis can cause scarring on your eyelids if it goes untreated for a long time.
|Dry eye disease||Blepharitis can cause dry eye disease. In people with blepharitis, abnormal oils and other debris from the infected eyelid can fall from the eye lid and into your tear film causing your tears to become abnormal. When the tear film is not working properly, your eyes cannot lubricate themselves properly and dry eyes or watery eyes are the result.|
|Contact lens problems||Because blepharitis can affect the amount of lubrication in your eyes, wearing contact lenses may be uncomfortable.|
|Sty||A sty is a red, painful lump at the edge of your eyelid, usually on the outside part of the lid and can look like a boil or a pimple|
|Chalazion||A chalazion is a cyst in the eyelid caused by a blockage of the meibomian gland, which is one of the oil glands in the eye that is critical for making healthy tear film. When the glad becomes infected with bacteria, a red swollen eyelid develops. A chalazion is usually found on the inside of the eyelid.|
|Pink eye||Blepharitis can cause chronic pink eye (conjunctivitis).|
|Constant irritation from eyelids suffering from blepharitis can cause a corneal ulcer, which is a sore on the clear dome that covers the coloured part of your eye.|