Blepharitis is the medical term for inflammation of the margins of the eye lids. It usually affects both eyes.
Blepharitis may cause one or more of the following:
This condition is due to your skin type and thus cannot be cured. However, most people can control it with the measures discussed below although you may still suffer occasional flare-ups.
No, although blepharitis can be uncomfortable for the sufferer, it rarely causes problems to the eye itself.
No, but there may be over activity of normal skin organisms. These germs (bacteria and occasional fungi) flourish in debris/secretions that build up on the edge of the eyelids. This is why regular cleaning of the eyelids is important.
A combination of many forms of treatment is used.
However, the mainstay of treatment is always careful cleaning of the eyelids and lashes to remove the irritating substances.
The treatment will need to be carried out twice a day. The frequency can, however, be progressively reduced as the condition responds to the treatment.
The aim of the treatment is to minimise your symptoms and keep your eyes more comfortable. Remember that blepharitis is a skin condition that may be with you for all your life. Regular lid hygiene should therefore become part of your daily routine. This includes:
Clean the eyelids, eyelid margins and eyelashes with a side to side motion. This should be carried out as often as directed by your doctor. This is usually twice a day.
This is often used for a number of weeks. It is then possible to get further prescriptions from your eye doctor, GP or pharmacist to use intermittently in the future if your condition flares up again.
Having followed the steps above, you should expect improvement within 2 – 8 weeks of starting the treatment. Once comfortable, regular cleansing may be reduced to alternate days or as necessary.
Blepharitis usually responds well to treatment, long term cleaning of the eye lids will need to be continued. Always be prepared to increase treatment should symptoms return.