What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis (pronounced blef-a-right-is) is inflammation of the eyelids. It commonly involves the tear glands in the eyelid margin and the eyelashes. Within the eyelids there are many small tear glands called meibomian glands. These produce an oily substance in the tears. In blepharitis the eyelid glands are inflamed and produce an oil that is thick, cream colored, and waxy.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
Blepharitis is one of the most common cause of Dry Eye Disease so the symptoms are similar including eye redness, irritation, foreign body sensation, and blurry vision. There may also be redness of the eyelids and crusting around the eye lashes. These signs of blepharitis and dry eye disease can be detected on an eye exam.
What are some treatments for blepharitis?
The mainstay of treatment is regular lid hygiene to reduce the inflammation in the eyelids. This needs to be carried out over the long term to prevent the symptoms from returning. There are now several products specifically developed for the cleaning of the eyelid margin:
Treating blepharitis requires diligence and consistency. The regimen below will help improve the health of your eyelids. At first, you will need to do this “lid hygiene regimen” every day for the first 4 weeks but will then slowly taper the regimen as you improve.
_______________Cleaning the lids: This is performed to remove any debris that has accumulated on the lid margins. Using ocusoft lid scrub pads, unfold the pad, and wrap over your finger. Close your eye and gently cleanse your eyelid using side-to-side strokes. Do not touch the eye directly. If using original pads rinse thoroughly. The foaming cleanser is best used before showering. This can be applied with a finger tip or lint free cloth.
____________ Use warm compresses to the eyelids as follows. Moisten a clean washcloth with warm water. Close eyes and place washcloth on eyelids for about 5 minutes, reheating the washcloth as necessary.
____________ During the day use artificial tears _______ times daily in both eyes. Systane Ultra is a good eye drop to use.
____________ Place a small ribbon of ointment to the inside of the eyelid or massage a small ribbon into the base of your eyelashes with your eye closed. The commonly prescribed eye ointments are ERYTHROMYCIN and MAXITROL (neomycin, polymyxin B, and dexamethasone). After the ointment is in, your vision will be blurry so this should be the last thing you do before going to bed.