If you’ve ever had itchy, swollen eyes, you know firsthand that it can be a maddening problem. If you’re afflicted with blepharitis, though, this problem becomes an almost constant annoyance! Blepharitis is a surprisingly common condition. Effective blepharitis treatment tends to differ depending on the causes of the condition in your specific case.
Common Blepharitis Symptoms
While blepharitis may be caused by a host of different ailments, the general symptoms of the condition tend to be similar in every case. The eyelids become inflamed, swollen, and itchy. Excessive crustiness and debris build-up is common. The eyes may water, blink rapidly, and become painful.
Many individuals who have chronic blepharitis experience dry eye, light sensitivity, and recurring breakouts of pinkeye. If left untreated, blepharitis can cause adverse changes in the way the eyelashes grow or even make them fall out entirely.
Causes And Treatments
If you’re experiencing the symptoms described above frequently, it’s a good idea to consult with an eye doctor or general practitioner to determine if blepharitis is the culprit. A healthcare professional will also be able to diagnose the specific type of blepharitis you’re dealing with. This is very important because blepharitis treatments can vary based on the causes and issues you’re dealing with:
* Staphylococcal Blepharitis
In this case, your inflamed eyelids are being caused by a bacterial infection. This is among the most serious forms of the condition, as it often leads to eyelash loss when it’s not treated correctly. Common corrective treatments involve taking antibiotics. You may also be prescribed a topical antibiotic to apply directly to your eyelids.
* Seborrheic Blepharitis
This form of blepharitis is a specific symptom of seborrheic dermatitis, a complex skin condition that can cause flaking and irritation anywhere on the skin. When it affects the eyelids, the best course of treatment is increased diligence in cleaning your eyes. Your doctor will likely recommend specific soaps and shampoos designed to minimize irritation and tell you to gently cleanse the affected area several times a day.
* Demodex Blepharitis
This is a type of blepharitis caused by eyelash mites. While these parasites are normally harmless, their waste can clog eyelash follicles and interfere with the lubricating glands that normally keep your eyes clear. Additional cleansing will help with Demodex blepharitis, especially using products which contain tea tree oil or sulfur oil. There is also a specific topical anti-parasite medication, metronidazole, that helps in some cases.
* Meibomian Blepharitis
When the root cause of your blepharitis is a problem with the meibomian glands (the previously-mentioned lubricating glands in your eyes), potential long-term effects include dry eyes, abnormal secretions, and stye formation. Meibomian blepharitis is among the most persistent and frustrating forms of the condition, but it usually responds well to a consistent and diligent hygiene regimen.
Treating blepharitis is a tough job if you tackle it on your own. Without knowing the cause of your condition for certain, you may overlook – or not get access to – the most effective forms of treatment. This makes it vitally important to bring your concerns to the attention of a healthcare professional if your symptoms lead you to believe you have blepharitis.