Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that causes them to become red, irritated and itchy and develop dandruff-like scales on the lashes. It is usually caused by a bacteria or skin condition, like dandruff or rosacea, and affects all age groups.
In this post, your local eye exam and treatment provider, Eye and Vision Care, explains the causes of the disease as well as its treatment options.
Despite the discomfort that blepharitis brings to patients, it’s not contagious and doesn’t affect vision. It is advised to avoid touching the affected area to prevent a secondary infection. In addition, patients must temporarily stop wearing contact lenses and using eye makeup during treatment.
The condition is classified into two types, which are anterior blepharitis and posterior blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis is commonly caused by bacteria found on the face and lids. Excessive growth of these bacteria can lead to infection. In rare cases, allergies or eyelash mite infestation may cause anterior blepharitis.
Meanwhile, posterior blepharitis occurs when the eyelid glands don’t produce oil properly, which creates a breeding environment for bacteria. The condition can also develop as a result of rosacea and scalp dandruff.
The symptoms of this eye disease are organized into four categories. In staphylococcal blepharitis, patients experience mildly sticking eyelids, thickened lid margins, and missing eyelashes. People with seborrheic blepharitis have greasy flakes or scales on the base of the lashes and have mild eyelid redness. Ulcerative blepharitis patients get hard crusts in their eyelashes that, when removed, cause sores that ooze and bleed. They may also experience losing eyelashes and excessive tearing. In severe cases, their cornea can get inflamed. Finally, meibomian blepharitis causes blocked eyelid oil glands, resulting in poor tear quality and redness in the eyelid lining.
The treatment for blepharitis depends on the type and symptoms. Most treatments aim to keep the eyelids free of crusts. A warm compress can loosen the crusts. You can gently rub the eyelids with a solution of water and baby shampoo or an over-the-counter lid-cleansing product. If the condition is caused by a bacterial infection, doctors may prescribe an antibiotic.
Visit your local eye doctor if you’re experiencing any eye discomfort for early diagnosis and treatment. At Eye Vision and Care, we are your local provider of orthokeratology and various eye disease treatments. Call us at (703) 988-2571 or complete our online form to set an appointment. We assist patients in