What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common condition particularly among those suffering from rosacea, dandruff, and oily skin. It is often characterized by an inflammation of the eyelids. This inflammation is typically experienced in the form of swelling, redness, and burning. In addition, Blepharitis can lead to flaking and crusting at the base of your eyelashes as well.
Blepharitis occurs when tiny oil glands (meibomian glands) near the base of the eyelashes become clogged. These clogs prevent the glands from keeping eyes moist, leading to dry eyes and discomfort. Although these symptoms are not life threatening, they can develop into eye infections if untreated.
What Causes Blepharitis?
There are many causes of blepharitis, including:
- Poor eyelid hygiene
- Environmental stress
The glands that lubricate our eyes wear out as we age. Over time, this leads to a decrease in lubrication. This decrease presents itself as ocular dryness, irritation, and swelling.
Along with decreased lubrication, poor lid hygiene can also bring about these symptoms. Blepharitis is often associated with an overgrowth of bacteria living along the eyelid margins. When the bacteria multiply, they create a biofilm that secretes harmful exotoxins. These exotoxins cause inflammation that often leads to meibomian dysfunction.
Environmental and cosmetic stressors can also lead to eyelid inflammation. Living in dry and dusty areas often causes bursts of irritation. Similarly, applying makeup to affected areas can make the condition more uncomfortable.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Dry eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Red eyelids (erythema)
- Red eyes (hyperemia)
- Light Sensitivity
- Crusty eyelids (flaking of the skin around the eyelids)
- Cysts on the eyelids (chalazion)
- Discharge or mucus from the eyes
- Abnormal eyelash growth
- Itchy eyelids
- Foreign body sensation
How can I control my symptoms at home?
There is unfortunately no cure for this condition. However, there are steps you can take at home to help you control your symptoms.
These steps include:
- Soak a clean washcloth in warm water and place it on the edge of your eyelids.
- Then, gently loosen lid margin crusting by rocking the cloth for 5 minutes.
- Lastly, repeat the motion again with a separate clean compress.
How can Foley Vision Center Help Me?
At Foley Vision Center we use the TempSure Envi laser to treat blepharitis. Using radiofrequency energy, TempSure Envi targets and stimulates clogged glands. This targeted stimulation causes glands to unclog and regain moisture. This minimally invasive treatment is perfect for treating dry eyes due to its speed and ease. Best of all, this treatment requires no surgery, meaning no downtime. Learn more about TempSure Envi here.