Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids, which is a condition that can be very uncomfortable and painful. This article provides some information about this condition and its symptoms which might prove beneficial in the early diagnosis and treatment of the same.
Blepharitis is one of the most common eye diseases characterized by the inflammation of the eyelids. It can affect people of all age groups and can be caused due to bacteria, scalp dandruff, allergies, or skin disorders. This health condition is not contagious, however, some of the symptoms could cause a severe discomfort. There are two types – anterior blepharitis (the anterior or outside edges of the eyelids where eyelashes are attached, is affected) and posterior blepharitis (the inner edges of the eyelids,which come in contact with eyeball are affected).
- This is caused mainly due to staphylococcal bacteria.
- Allergies caused due to chemical irritants, and certain medications or allergies caused due to some animals.
- A skin disease called psoriasis which is characterized by red, scaly patches on the scalp and ears.
- A skin disorder called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes red, itchy, and scaly skin on the scalp and face.
- Thickening of the eyelid margins.
- Sticking together of the eyelids.
- Loss of eyelashes.
- Tearing and itching of eyelids.
- Redness and swelling of the eyes and lining of the eyelids.
- Blurred vision.
- The main cause is the blockage or inflammation of the meibomian glands in the eyelids.
- Dysfunction of meibomian glands or oil glands causes dry eyes and scaling on the eyelids.
- Shedding of dead skin of the scalp.
- Rosacea which is characterized by skin redness, burning, and itching.
- Burning sensation in the eye.
- Feeling of presence of a foreign body in the eye.
- Swollen eyelids and redness of the eyes.
- Mucous discharge from the eyes.
- Blurred vision and pain in the eyes.
- Excessive tear production.
On observation of the aforementioned symptoms, one must consult an ophthalmologist immediately. These symptoms are obvious and help in diagnosis wherein the eyelid structure and skin damage would be examined using a slit-lamp microscope. After examining, the culture samples are collected and sent for proper study in the laboratory, in order to decide on the proper treatment. If it is related to a skin disease, a dermatologist’s help may be sought.
If bacteria is the main cause/reason, the doctor would prescribe oral antibiotics along with eye drops and ointments for the eyelids. When the skin disorders like rosacea skin is the main cause, the treatment would be focused on getting rid of this skin disorder first. Dermatologists treat blepharitis on the lines of seborrhoeic dermatitis treatment by some anti-inflammatory and mild steroids. In case of allergies, avoiding contact with the allergen-like chemicals, smoke, or animals is necessary. Furthermore, getting rid of dandruff by use of anti-dandruff shampoos on the scalp can also help.
Alternative Treatment Methods
Using warm and moist compresses on the eye, thrice a day, can help to lessen the itching and pain. Even gently cleaning the eyelids with a mixture of water and baby shampoo can help to get rid of scales. Always wash the hands and then, rinse the eyes with clean water. Avoid using contact lenses and wearing makeup during the period of treatment. Artificial tear solutions can also be used in some cases to provide relief to the eyes.
This condition can be effectively treated with a proper treatment. However, taking proper eye care and following good hygiene would help to avoid or ease this condition. Early diagnosis would also help; it would help one to get rid of the discomfort and pain, and thus aid a fast recovery.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.