Blepharitis is a common, chronic eye condition. In fact, about 200,000 cases occur each year. It is easily treatable and manageable with the right diagnosis and regimen, although it is not curable. Blepharitis is not contagious and it is very uncommon for any permanent damage to result to the eye.
What is blepharitis? If you have experienced any or all of the following, you may have this condition.
- Gritty, burning and itchy eyes
- Oily eyelids
- Swollen eyelids
- Loss of eyelashes
- Sensitivity to light
Although we don’t know exactly what the origins of blepharitis are, it is strongly associated with
- Malfunctioning eyelid oil glands
- Dandruff of the eyebrow and scalp
- Overgrowth of bacteria on the skin.
- Lice or eyelash mites
- Allergies to
- Eye medications
- Blepharitis is also associated with excessive tearing and recurring pink eye as well as stys.
If this describes you, read on for treatment options.
Non Prescription Treatments
- One of the simplest treatments you can do at home is a warm compress. Many sufferers get significant relief from holding a warm washcloth directly on the affected eyelid for about five minutes. There are also masks made especially for blepharitis relief that can be used in the same way.
- Use products made for gentle cleaning of the eyelid to keep the area very clean but not dry it out. Two such products are Ocusoft and Sterilid. You may also use gentle baby shampoo and warm water. Many people with blepharitis have dry, scaly skin around the eyelid. Cleaning the area well will remove this debris.
- Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can greatly help alleviate the associated dryness. Itchiness from dryness is also often remedied when the eyes are lubricated.
- If dandruff or mites are the cause of your blepharitis you may use tea tree oil or an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo.
- Discontinue eye makeup for a few days to alleviate discomfort. This can also help determine if a makeup allergy is the cause if you are a new sufferer.
- It’s important to seek professional medical expertise regularly if you have blepharitis. Ophthalmologists can help you determine the best course of prescription treatment.
If your ophthalmologist determines you need prescription medication he/she may opt for any of the following:
- A commonly used ointment or drop for your eyes. These contain prescription-strength medication to help underlying issues or symptoms not alleviated with OTCs such as dryness and itching.
- Infection-fighting medications such as antibiotics may be prescribed to be applied to the eyelid. They may also be administered in drops, creams or ointments. Oral antibiotics are also used when needed and when the disease does not respond to topical antibiotics.
- Steroid eye drops and ointments help to control inflammation which is a large source of the pain and discomfort of this disease. Steroids can be combined with antibiotics.
- Medications for the immune system are used to offer relief of signs and symptoms. One such medication is Restasis (topical cyclosporine)
- Treating underlying conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea or other diseases impacting your blepharitis.
If you have recently noticed a decline in the quality of your eyesight, then visit Tri-County Eye Clinic. We offer a wide range of vision products and services in Biloxi, Mississippi and the surrounding area.
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Biloxi, MS 39531
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