Blepharitis – Symptoms, Types, Causes & Treatment Of Eyelids Inflammation

Blepharitis – Symptoms, Types, Causes & Treatment Of Eyelids Inflammation

Your eyelids are folds of your skin that covers your eyes and protect them from any injury or debris. The eyelids have lashes with short and curved hair follicles at the edge of lids and these hair follicles contain tiny oil glands. Sometimes, these oil glands can become clogged or irritated which results in inflammation of the eyelids and the medical term used for this condition is “Blepharitis”.  The condition of Blepharitis can affect both eyes and it is a chronic condition that can also be treated.

Here’s what you should know about Blepharitis symptoms, types, causes, complications, diagnosis, treatment and self-care measures:

What are the symptoms of Blepharitis?

The symptoms of Blepharitis eyelid inflammation are usually very noticeable because it irritates your eyes and makes them red, itchy, swollen and inflamed. You might notice following symptoms:

  • Red, itchy, swollen and inflamed eyelids
  • Burning feeling in eye
  • Feeling like something is in or on the eyes
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Oily eyelids
  • Eyes become sensitive to light
  • Crust on eyelashes or in corners of eyes
  • Blurry vision

What are the types of Blepharitis?

There are two types of the eyelid inflammation: anterior and posterior.

  1. Anterior eyelid inflammation: It occurs on outside of your eyes where the eyelashes are located. Dandruff on eyebrows and allergic reaction in the eyes can cause this type of eyelid inflammation.
  2. Posterior eyelid inflammation: It occurs on inner corners of eyes. It is usually caused by malfunctioning of oil gland in your eyelash follicles.  

What causes Blepharitis or eyelid inflammation?

Although the exact cause of Blepharitis is not clear yet, there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing the condition. These risk factors include dandruff on your eyebrows or scalp (Seborrheic Dermatitis), Rosacea (skin disease) and the allergic reaction to any makeup or cosmetic products that you have applied around your eyes or eye medications or contact lens solution. Some other causes or risk factors for Blepharitis are malfunctioning of oil gland, eyelash mites or lice, bacterial infection and side effects of any medication.

What are the potential complications of eyelid inflammation?

The most potential complication of eyelid inflammation is eyelash loss, which is caused by scarring in hair follicles that make them to grow abnormally or incorrectly. If extensive scarring occurs then it can even prevent the growth of eyelashes.

The short-term complications include dry eyes (a condition in which patient doesn’t have enough quality tears for lubricating and nourishing the eyes) and pink eye (it is inflammation or infection of membrane that lines eyelids and eye surface).

Long-term complications include scarring on eyelid; growth of sty which is an infected lump appears on base of the eyelashes and chronic pink eye condition.

Infection may also develop under the eyelids when the oil glands on eyelids becomes infected and blocked. If the eye infection or eye inflammation is left untreated then it may cause permanent damage to the eye and even vision loss. The scarring under the eyelids can also scratch the delicate surface of the eye and cause ulcers on cornea, which is a clear, protective outer layer of the eye.

How is Blepharitis diagnosed?

At first, the eye doctor or ophthalmologist carefully examines the eyelids and eyes, by using a special magnifying instrument while performing the examination. In some cases, the ophthalmologist uses a swab to collect the sample of the oil or crust that is formed on your eyelid and this sample is analyzed under the microscope for bacteria, fungi or evidence of any other allergy.   

What is the treatment of Blepharitis?

For mild cases of eyelid inflammation, washing the eyes and using warm compressors may treat the condition. For severe or chronic cases of eyelid inflammation, the doctor suggests prescription treatments which include:

Medications to treat infection: Antibiotics applied on the infected eyelid can treat the underlying symptoms and also resolve the bacterial infection of eyelids. These antibiotics are available in the form of creams, ointments or eye drops. If your symptoms still persist after using these topical antibiotics then the doctor prescribes oral antibiotic.

Medications for controlling inflammation: Steroid drops and ointments can also help in treating the inflammation. The doctor may also prescribe both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Treatment for underlying medical condition: If Blepharitis is caused by a disease or medical condition such as Seborrheic dermatitis, Rosacea or any other then it can be controlled by treating these diseases.

What home remedies and self-care measures are recommended to treat Blepharitis?

Self-care measures and home remedies are the best options for treatment of mild cases of Blepharitis at home. It includes basic eye cleansing and lubrication which further have steps to follow:

Cleansing of the eyes:

You can use this remedy two to four times a day if you have flare-ups and once or twice a day after the condition is under control. Apply a warm compress over your affected eyelids which loosen the crusty deposits on the eyelids. Immediately after this, wash away oily debris or scales at base of the eyelashes by using a washcloth which is moistened with warm water and few drops of diluted baby shampoo. Make sure to use different cloth for each eye.

In certain cases, you need to clean the edge of the eyelids where eyelashes are located. To do this, you need to gently pull the eyelid away from the eye and then use washcloth to gently rub the base of eyelashes. In this way, your cornea can’t damage with the washcloth. The doctor can prescribe topical antibiotic after cleaning the eyelids in this way.

After cleansing the eyelids, rinse them with warm water and then gently pat it dry with dry towel.

Moreover, avoid using eye makeup when your eyes are inflamed, because eye makeup can make it difficult for you to keep the eyelids clean and free of any debris. Makeup can also re-introduce bacteria to your eyelids or cause allergic reaction.

Lubrication of the eyes:

Using over-the-counter artificial tears lubricate your eyes and they help in relieving the symptoms of dry eyes.

Consult ophthalmologists at Menger Eye Centers in NYC for treatment of Blepharitis:

So, if you’re experiencing the inflammation of the eyelids or the condition of Blepharitis then you can consult highly recommended ophthalmologists at Menger Eye Centers, who have been treating patients with various eye diseases in NYC. They provide the best treatment of Blepharitis while diagnosing the problem and underlying cause behind it. They also provide complete treatment of the underlying disease that is causing the Blepharitis. Our board certified ophthalmologists ensure that a proper treatment plan and best follow-up care completely cure the problem.

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