What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a medical terminology for swollen eyelids. It affects the edges of the eyelids. Blepharitis is a non-contagious disease and condition. The base of the eyelashes has tiny oil glands and when these glands get clogged, it causes redness and irritation in the eyes.
There are two types of Blepharitis:
- Anterior Blepharitis – When the area from where the eyelashes come out of lids gets swollen and dark colored, it’s called Anterior Blepharitis.
- Posterior Blepharitis – When eyelids produce thickened and unhealthy oil, it’s called Posterior Blepharitis, produced by meibomian gland.
Now let’s see what Blepharitis causes, its symptoms, and treatments-
What are the symptoms of Blepharitis?
There are various symptoms of Blepharitis, some of them are:
- Red and watery eyes
- Itching and burning sensation in the eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Continuous and excessive blinking
- Light sensitivity i.e. Photophobia
- Flaking of the skin near the eye area
- Blurred vision
- Eyelashes loss
Even after proper hygiene also, Blepharitis doesn’t seem to get cured, so you need to visit a doctor for proper medication.
What are the Blepharitis causes?
Here are several causes that can occur Blepharitis-
- Dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows can cause this condition. Its scientific name is Seborrheic dermatitis.
- Certain types of infection.
- Clogging and malfunctioning of the oil glands present in eyelids.
- Some allergic reaction from the contact lens, eye makeup, or eye solutions.
- Due to some specific skin condition i.e. Rosacea which causes redness and inflammation in your face.
- Dry eyes happen due to dryness in tear ducts, which results in an alteration in bacterial resistance.
- Eyelash lice or mites – Its scientific term is Demodicosis. It blocks the eyelash follicles and glands.
- Due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). It happens when the oil from Meibomian Gland gets thickened and isn’t free-flowing, it causes dry eyes which can either result in inflammation or infection.
How to diagnose Blepharitis?
Following are the several ways a doctor will use for diagnosing the condition-
- By taking note of the person’s health history.
- By examining the eyelids carefully, their appearance, redness, discharge, and swelling.
- By doing an eyelid discharge test. A swab of eyelid secretion is tested to know the characteristics of bacteria present.
- Performing a tear test.
- Doing an eyelash exam to detect eyelash mites.
- If required, doctors can also suggest an eyelid biopsy. When there is any doubt about skin cancer or other abnormal cells present, then eyelid biopsy is performed.
How to treat Blepharitis?
You can treat it at home if the condition is still at a nascent stage by avoiding eye makeup, using warm compresses, eating food items rich in omega-3s like green and leafy vegetables, and avoiding high-fat food. Use lid scrubs to reduce dandruff on eyelashes and bacteria on the eyelid skin.
If home care measures aren’t helpful, then the doctor might prescribe some treatment-
- Doctors will provide antibiotics to relieve the infection. It can be eyedrop, cream, and ointment.
- Doctors can provide medications like anti-inflammatory drugs to control inflammation.
- Topical cyclosporine is prescribed to calm down the symptoms of Blepharitis.
- Treatment of the root cause that triggers Blepharitis to happen is done before treating Blepharitis.
There can be many complications also if you left this condition unattended or untreated for a long time-
- There is a possibility of Chalazion, which is a small bump or swelling in the eyelid.
- Corneal ulcer – It occurs from prolonged infection or eyelid swelling.
- There can be eyelid issues like shedding of eyelashes and growing of eyelashes in an odd direction.
- There can be a red eyelid bump near the eyelashes, it’s called Sty. It can be painful.
- This condition may sometimes turn into chronic pink eye i.e. Conjunctivitis.
Blepharitis causes discomfort and is painful sometimes. You can prevent it by taking self-care at home and keeping your eye area hygienic. If it is still a problem, then visit your doctor. You can visit PVRI, the best eye hospital in Hyderabad.