Blepharitis is an eye disease that can affect people of any age. It is a common problem that can cause discomfort. This eye disease, however, is not contagious and is unlikely to cause any permanent damage to a person’s eyesight. This eye condition on the other hand, if not treated properly can cause chronic red eyes and swollen eyelids that look and feel miserable.
Read on to see what can be done. Also see our Blepharitis page for a more in depth look at causes and more importantly its treatment.
Types of Blepharitis
This eye disease has two types, namely:
1. Anterior Blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis occurs as a result of bacteria or dandruff in the scalp and eyebrows. This type occurs at the outside front edge of the eyelids near the eyelashes.
2. Posterior Blepharitis. Posterior blepharitis, on the other hand, occurs in the inner edge of the eyelids that touches the eyeball. The cause of this is the irregular production of oil in the eyelid glands that would lead to bacteria growth. Skin conditions can also be blamed.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
This eye disease is best described as an inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms may include the following:
1. Your eyelids may become red, itchy and irritated.
2. Your eyelashes will develop scales at its base. These scales have a similar texture and look of a dandruff.
3. The eyes would have a burning sensation.
4. The eyes would become dry and itchy.
5. You will notice some misdirected eyelashes.
6. Cornea will become swollen.
7. Patient will suffer from blurry vision.
Diagnosis of Blepharitis
To diagnose this eye disease, go to your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye examination. Your eyeball’s front surface and eyelids will probably be evaluated. The eye doctor may conduct the following steps:
1. Check your medical history to see if other problems in your health may be causing the eye disease.
2. Examine the appearance of your eyelashes, the texture of the skin and the structure of your eyelid.
3. Evaluate the base of your eyelash, the openings in your meibomian gland and the margins of your eyelids using bright lights and magnifying instrument.
4. Analyze the quality and quantity of your tears to see if there are any abnormalities.
5. Recommend possible treatment procedure based on the result of the tests.
Treatment of Blepharitis
Proper eye hygiene is needed to treat this eye disease. Among the treatment options are the following:
1. Use eye makeup judiciously. Avoid its use altogether, if possible.
2. Avoid using contact lenses while in the process of treating the eye disease.
3. Massage your eyelids regularly to remove the oil that has accumulated in the eyelid glands.
4. Apply warm compress to loosen the crusts that may have formed.
5. Gently clean your eyelids with an eyelid cleansing product such as Sterilid.
6. Use anti dandruff shampoo regularly on your scalp.
7. Prescription topical steroids have a role to play, when there is significant inflammation.
8. Your optometrist may prescribe antibiotics if the blepharitis has been caused by a bacteria.
9. Improve the function of the oil glands on your eyelids by taking in appropriate nutritional supplements, like omega-3 fatty acids.
10. BlephEx is now an exciting new treatment that we are using routinely on most cases of anterior blepharitis with excellent results. This professional treatment gets the eyelids in great shape so that you can maintain them easily.
Before undertaking any of these treatments it is important to see a therapeutically qualified optometrist so that an accurate diagnosis and then an effective treatment strategy can be implemented depending on severity.
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