Blepharitis often affects both the eyes and rarely disappears entirely. Blepharitis – a condition of eyelid swelling that demands efforts daily. It is comparatively easy to treat but difficult to cure.
Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids, which leads to eye swelling too. This primarily occurs due to the blockage of oil glands present adjacent to the base of eyelids. This causes redness and irritation. This condition is difficult to cure but in hand to manage. It does not cause any permanent damage and cannot spread from a person to another person (non-contagious).
If you witness any eyelid swelling or eye swelling despite proper hygiene, it is mandatory to make an appointment with your eyelid doctor.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
The most commonly witnessed symptoms of Blepharitis include the following –
- Red and watery eyes
- A grainy or rough, and a burning sensation in your eyes
- Oily and itchy eyelids
- Swollen or inflamed eyelids
- Eye covered with crust and stuck together early morning as soon as you wake up
- Increased blinking of the eye due to light sensitivity
- Blurring of the vision in some cases
Consult your doctor immediately if these symptoms appear even after regular cleaning of the affected area.
Complications of Blepharitis
Blepharitis may cause –
- Shedding of eyelashes or their abnormal growth. You might start losing the colour of your eyelashes.
- Development of scarring on your eyelid due to long-term Blepharitis. Your eyelids may start to change their direction. They may turn inward or outward gradually.
- Presence of crust, dandruff, or oily secretions in your tears. Abnormal tear film can irritate your eyes, resulting in insufficient moisture. They leave the eyes dry.
- Sty – A sty is a painful, red bulge on the base of the eyelid. It may look like a boil or a pimple but never try to burst or pop it. It is commonly visible on the surface of the eyelid. It disappears by itself in a couple of days while following good hygiene.
- Chalazion – A chalazion results due to some clogging of the oil glands. This blockage leads to inflammation of oil glands and painful sensations.
- Corneal injury
To get treatment of Blepharitis, your doctor is most likely to examine and diagnose your eyes initially. They might use a skin swab to collect the sample of oil and crust from eyelids to test the causative agent. It can be bacteria, fungi, or an allergy.
Treatment of Blepharitis
Hygienic measures that involve self-care like washing your eyes, using a warm compress can help soothe your eye infection. Your eyelid doctor might suggest few treatments like –
- Antibiotics can be used to relieve these bacterial infections. They are available in various forms like eye drops, topical ointments, and oral medications.
- Steroid eye drops and ointments are used to control inflammation. Your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to resolve Blepharitis.
- Treating seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea or other diseases can help to treat Blepharitis.
Blepharitis can be treated easily by self-care measures, but it is difficult to cure. Due to its chronic condition, it demands daily attention. Seek medical care urgently if you are not responding to the treatment. In rare cases, the condition might be caused due to eyelid cancer.
Precautions to avoid Blepharitis
Some lifestyle changes can help decrease the risk of Blepharitis. They are as follows –
- Ensure that your eyelids are clean.
- Remove any makeup from your eyes and face before going to bed.
- Avoid the usage of eyeliner on the back edges of eyelids.
- Use warm compression in case you witness any slight pain or itching in your eye.
Few lifestyle changes can not only prevent Blepharitis but can reduce the risk of any other bacterial infection too.
- What is the main cause of Blepharitis?The main cause of Blepharitis is getting infected by a bacterium, clogging of oil glands in your eyelid, and skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema. Scalp and eyebrow dandruff can cause Blepharitis too.
- What is the fastest way to cure Blepharitis?Blepharitis cannot be cured completely. But it can be treated by gently applying warm compress over your infected area for 5-10 minutes. This warm compress will reduce the eyelid swelling and help the crusty deposits to shed. Do not take burning hot water as it will damage your eyes. Your doctor is likely to suggest some antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication if you are experiencing long-term Blepharitis.
- How long does Blepharitis take to clear up?Blepharitis does not disappear completely as it is a chronic condition that is difficult to cure. After the application of warm compress, topical ointments, and taking an oral medication, Blepharitis may respond well in the first week. In some cases, it might take the patients up to a few months to bring Blepharitis under control.
- Do eye drops help Blepharitis?Blepharitis primarily occurs due to a bacterial infection. Your doctor might prescribe you antibiotics in the form of eye drops for rapid resolution of the infection. In addition to that, topical ointments, oral medication, and some anti-inflammatory medicines can help treat Blepharitis too.
- What is the best medicine for Blepharitis?Doctors have seen that topical cyclosporine (Restasis) has helped patients with Blepharitis. This medication can help you to get relief from some of the signs and symptoms of the condition. Topical antibiotics like erythromycin can be applied to the edge of the eyelid to avoid bacterial infection. Your doctor is most likely to prescribe you an oral medication like tetracycline if the condition does not improve with good eyelid hygiene.