Blepharitis is an acute infection of the eyelid and can flare up with little or no warning. It is a very common ailment, affecting up to 40% of all adults and is the main cause of dry eye syndrome. Its effects are irritating and can affect your vision. You may have symptoms such as itchy or burning eyes, blurred vision, gritty or granular sensations, or oily tears. These conditions are caused by either blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) or meibomianitis (an inflammation of the oil-producing glands of the eye) Blepharitis is usually caused by Staphylococcus bacteria that thrive in excess oils produced by glands on the eyelid.
Blepharitis sometimes accompanies outbreaks of acne. The essence of therapy is to prevent the infection from causing chronic symptoms or more serious problems. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be prescribed any of the following therapies:
- Warm or hot moist compresses applied to the eye
- Eyelid cleansing procedures. Although neither this nor hot compresses are a cure for infection, both actions help to remove excess debris that becomes trapped in the glands and eyelashes.
- Manual expression of excess oil from the oil glands at the edge of the eyelids to free any trapped bacteria. This is usually helped by applying hot compresses beforehand.
- In severe cases you may be prescribed antibiotic eye drops, which may be also taken with an anti-inflammatory. Sometimes you may be prescribed an ointment instead of a drop, which should be applied along the edge of the eyelids.
Like all infections, blepharitis can recur or become chronic if not treated completely. The following steps aid eyelid hygiene in that they remove the bacteria that can remain after treatment, trapped in your eyelashes or eyelid area of your eyes. You can also try our Blepha range of products from Spectrum Thea.