Blepharitis is a chronic eye condition that can make you feel uncomfortable. Anyone can get blepharitis, but if you have certain health or skin problems, then you are at a higher risk. Blepharitis can also cause serious problems if it gets out of control. Here is more about blepharitis, its causes, and how to manage the condition.
Blepharitis is an eyelid condition that manifests itself in two ways. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside edge of your eyelid. This is where your eyelashes are located. Posterior blepharitis affects the inside of your eyelid. In both cases, an uncomfortable and irritating biofilm and crust forms.
The associated biofilm causes additional problems. Eventually, these feed into a vicious cycle of inflammation and other eye problems. Whether you have anterior blepharitis or the posterior kind, this biofilm invites harmful bacteria to your eyes. On a positive note, this condition is not contagious.
If your eyes feel excessively itchy, especially around the edges of the eyelids, then you might have at least a mild case of blepharitis. Many people with more serious forms of this condition report that their eyes feel gritty, especially when they blink. Blepharitis is often associated with unusually dry eyes. Your eyes may also become crusty around the edges and stick together, especially while you sleep at night.
The cause of blepharitis is not entirely clear. If you have another skin condition, like rosacea and dandruff, then you are more likely to have the anterior form of blepharitis. Eye gland problems are a suspected cause of posterior blepharitis. For some people, a fungus could contribute to the condition on either side of the eyelid. A less common cause is allergy irritation or excessive eyelash mite infestation.
Blepharitis Care and Prevention
Most people can control their blepharitis through good hygiene. Make sure you keep your eyelids clean. If you wear makeup, then remove your makeup at night. You can use a warm compress to clean off crusty edges. If you have serious chronic eyelid crusting, then be sure to pay extra attention to cleaning off their edges. When your symptoms are severe, don’t wear your contacts or any eye makeup until your eyes are better.
With good hygiene and medical attention, your blepharitis shouldn’t cause you any serious problems. However, if you have a particularly bad case of it, then you could end up with a serious infection. If you have eyelash mites, as many people do, then those mites might reproduce out of control. They feed on the biofilm that builds up along the eyelashes. Also, uncontrolled blepharitis can lead to sties and even conjunctivitis.
If your eye’s oil glands get blocked, then a serious infection can form underneath the eyelid. This may lead to scars that could affect your cornea. Scars scratch your cornea and eventually lead to long-term vision problems. However, with early intervention, this is only a rare possibility.
Blepharitis Medical Treatment
Medical treatments are available if you cannot control your blepharitis with good hygiene. If you don’t have an active infection, then you may be prescribed steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. If you do have an infection, especially one that extends beyond the eyelids, then you may need antibiotics. Specialized equipment can also deep clean your eyelids to reduce recurring infections.
Blepharitis is a condition that can cause a great deal of discomfort. Once diagnosed, it is a condition that requires constant care to keep symptoms under control. Fortunately, treatments are available to manage Blepharitis and help keep you symptom-free for as long as possible. Davies Eye Center has a specialized treatment to help you control your blepharitis. Contact our office at (760) 284-6724 to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors so they can evaluate and recommend a treatment plan that will provide relief for your dry eyes!