BLEPHARITIS TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT
Eyelid Care is Key to Treating & Preventing Blepharitis
The importance of skin care is drilled into us at an early age. We’re barraged with advertisements for facial cleansers, body wash, soaps, lotions, moisturisers, astringents, toners and more. There’s plenty on information of how to care for your skin. But has anyone ever told you how to care for your eyelids? A condition called blepharitis shines a light on the importance of eyelid hygiene and care.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a very irritating, but very common and treatable condition affecting the eyelid margin. This condition can often appear alongside conjunctivitis. It’s also sometimes associated with other skin conditions like ocular rosacea, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Blepharitis isn’t typically contagious and most likely won’t cause any permanent damage to your eyes or vision.
Like conjunctivitis, this infection can be caused by a variety of different factors. Parasites and fungal eyelid infections can cause blepharitis, but most often, it’s caused by too much of the bacteria that appears naturally at the base of your eyelashes.
When these bacteria build up over a long period of time, it creates something called a biofilm. Similar to the plaque that develops on teeth, the biofilm can become toxic. As this biofilm continues to grow, it becomes food for parasitic mites and can clog the oil glands your eye needs to help produce tears.
Burning or stinging
Foreign body sensation
Itchy or irritated eyelids
Contact lens discomfort
Loss of eyelashes
How Does Blepharitis Relate to Dry Eye?
Dry eye typically occurs for one of two reasons. The first is that the body isn’t creating enough tears. The second is that the tears don’t have enough meibum, or oil in them to keep them from evaporating right away.
When a biofilm develops on your eyelid, causing blepharitis, it can clog the meibomian glands which are responsible for producing the meibum your tears need. If the glands can’t produce enough meibum to keep your tears from evaporating right away, your eyes become chronically dry and irritated.