Blepharitis is a common and
persistent inflammation of the eyelids.
Symptoms include irritation, itching,
and occasionally, a red eye.
The bacteria that live on everyone's
skin sometimes live within the hair
follicles at the base of the lashes
where they can cause an over
production of oil, resulting in a
scaley itchy residue on the lash margins.
Some people develop a further reaction, resulting in inflammation of the eye tissue and cornea (transparent part of the front of the eye).
Treatment of Blepharitis
Blepharitis can be controlled with a few simple daily measures:
At least twice a day, wet a clean flannel with comfortably warm water, wring it out, and place over the closed eyelids for a minute. As it cools, re-wet it, repeating several times. This will soften and loosen scales and debris. More importantly, it helps prevent the oily secretions from hardening and forming an inflamed lump, also known as a chalazion.
With a moist cotton bud, or commercial lint-free pad, gently scrub the base of the lashes about 15 seconds per lid.
If an antibiotic ointment has been prescribed, apply a dot at the base of the lashes (usually at bedtime), using your fingertip.
The above measures will minimise the symptoms but additional medications may be needed to control blepharitis and its symptoms:
Artificial tears may be used to relieve symptoms of dry eye. ( Preservative free ones are available, these can be bought from a pharmacy)
Steroid eye drops may be used short-term to decrease inflammation.
Antibiotic ointment may be used to decrease the bacterial content of the eyelids.
Antibiotic tablets may be used to decrease the oil production from the meibomian glands.