What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common disorder that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is a chronic condition that typically presents as red, burning and irritated eyes.
The eye is equipped with oil glands that sit behind the eyelashes and work to produce the outermost tear layer of the eye. With blepharitis, these glands become inflamed and plugged, preventing the free flow of normal secretions. Left untreated, the glands can become irritated and infected leading to more serious concerns.
What are the symptoms?
Blepharitis can manifest in different ways, but there are a few key symptoms to look out for. Most patients experiencing this condition complain of red, burning, irritated eyes that are often worse on waking and may also notice eyelids that are matted shut. Other symptoms that can occur include loss of eyelashes, recurrent painful swelling of eyelids and dandruff-like scales at the base of the lashes.
What can I do?
First and foremost, see your optometrist. There is quite a bit of crossover between the symptoms of blepharitis and other conditions of the eye, so it is important to get a proper diagnosis.
One of the most common treatments for chronic blepharitis is the use of a warm compress to soften and clean the eyelid. A clean face cloth soaked in warm water can be set over the eyes and used to wipe away any crusty material that may have accumulated.
Your doctor may also recommend a lid wipe to thoroughly clean the eyelids and thus prevent future symptoms.
Artificial tears may be used to lubricate the eye and to help to flush out debris.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, book an appointment with your optometrist today.