Blepharitis Treatments and Symptoms
Blepharitis is a very common condition. Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelids, and it is frequently the cause of symptoms such as dry irritated eyes that can form into sties and cysts. There are many skin types which make people prone to developing Blepharitis, at least sometime in their lives. People with dry skin or oily skin frequently have some type of Blepharitis. The cause of Blepharitis is frequently related to the sensitivity of the patient’s skin. Usually the sensitivity of the skin coupled with small particles that land on the eyelashes throughout the day cause Blepharitis.
Cause of Blepharitis
Tiny particles may land on the lashes and form crusts, which can be seen under the examination room microscope. This debris is made up on irritants like pollen, dust, oils, mucus, and old makeup. These irritants cause inflammation of the eyelids, eyelashes and the oil glands around the eye. These cause the eyes to become red and irritated, dry and even sometimes painful causing the eyelid margins to get red and swollen. Also, the eyelashes may fall out and grow back pointing inwards toward the eye. Or they may not grow back at all. The delicate oil glands in the eyelids swell shut and get clogged where styes or chalazia may develop. The debris can frequently get infected with bacteria, for which we are all very sensitive. If bacterial infection results, it is likely that the eye and eyelid inflammation will become even worse.
Blepharitis Treatments depends on the cause and severity of the condition. The main treatment is cleansing of the eyelashes to remove the debris that is causing the irritation. There are eyelash shampoos available in your local stores for this purpose. We have found that a good cleaning with a wash cloth or face towel and warm water is usually enough to get most of the debris off. Cleaning every day prevents a place for the bacteria to live. You may use a warm wet compress to loosen the debris and open the clogged oil glands, and then close your eyes and wash the eye lashes with the washcloth. Wash horizontally across the base of the eyelashes, directed right where the lashes grow from the skin. 5 to 10 seconds is usually enough.
Washing your eyes
There are many ways to wash your eyelashes but we do not recommend scrubbing with fingers, cotton balls, or flat pads because they are not thorough enough in removing the stuck on crusts. The terry fibers of a towel works much better. Commonly, people think that washing their eyelashes with baby shampoo will help, but this soap can frequently cause more irritation to the sensitive skin around the eyes.
In severe cases we may prescribe antibiotic eye ointments, or oral antibiotics to speed healing along. However, once the antibiotic is discontinued the bacteria can return if there is still crust or debris remaining. For that reason the most effective treatment, which we recommend, is the cleaning the lashes regularly.
If you are suffering from any of the noted symptoms, or want to learn more about what is Blepharitis, please feel free to call Dr. Rosa Optometry and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Come see why we are the leading eye care specialists in blepharitis treatment in San Diego. Early detection and treatment is key to alleviating any future discomfort and promoting your continued visual health.
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