Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids usually characterized by red eyelids, crusty eyelashes, and sore. This condition is commonly caused by bacterial eyelid infection, dry eyes, fungal eyelid infection, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and parasites (Demodex eyelash mites).
Though blepharitis is often associated with dry eyes, the two conditions are not entirely the same. Blepharitis occurs when an overgrowth of bacteria along the margins of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. multiply to create a structure called biofilm.
This condition is quite different from dry eyes. However, dry eyes is often a manifestation of blepharitis and treating or preventing one of these conditions often go a long way in reducing or eliminating the other. Click here to read more about other eye conditions.
Apart from dry eyes, blepharitis is also associated with pink eye and in some individuals, the two occur at the same time. Other skin conditions such as eczema, dandruff, ocular rosacea, and psoriasis are often associated with this eye condition.
A person suffering from Burning or stinging eyes blepharitis may have symptoms such as irritated or watery eyes, itchy eyelids, foreign body sensation, crusty debris at the base of eyelashes and in some cases, loss of eyelashes. For someone wearing contact lens, blepharitis can also cause contact lens discomfort.
Treatment For Blepharitis
If you are having any or some of the symptoms that we have highlighted, the first step should be to visit an eye doctor. This will help you ascertain whether you have blepharitis, the root cause of the problem, and the most suitable treatment for you.
After the diagnosis, the doctor will recommend a treatment that is appropriate for you. Some of the common treatment for blepharitis include:
Medicated eye drops or ointments: Depending on the stage of the condition, your doctor may recommend some do-it-yourself treatment options or prescribe topical medicines to eliminate blepharitis-causing bacteria on the eyelids. This is usually the case when the patient has developed pink eye or when there is a risk of another eye infection apart from blepharitis.
Eyelid scrubs: This is usually the first treatment option for blepharitis to help remove overgrowth of infection-causing bacteria from the lid margins.
If after diagnosis, your doctor finds out that you have blepharitis, he or she will recommend a daily routine of lid scrubs and warm compresses top get rid of the bacteria that builds up in the eyelids.
In-office Treatment: For more effective treatment, your doctor may recommend in-office procedure like electromechanical lid margin debridement to remove bacteria, biofilm and Demodex mites from your eyelids or thermal pulsation treatment to melt the materials obstructing the meibomian glands.
Another common in-office procedure for blepharitis treat is intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy that opens clogged eyelid glands and facilitates the flow of oils into the tear film.
As I said earlier, if you are having any of the symptoms highlighted in this post, the first step should be to see an eye doctor. If you are in Dubai or any part of the United Arab Emirates, you can visit our eye clinic for a comprehensive eye exam.