Inflammation of the eyelid margins or blepharitis.
Blepharitis or inflammation of the eyelid margins is a common medical condition in daily life from which often equally suffer both women and men. Likelihood of developing blepharitis increases with age and the average age of patients is around 50 years.
Healthy eyelids and blepharitis
Types of blepharitis
There are different types of blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis affects only the skin and eyelash follicles and it is most often caused by bacteria and the toxins secreted. In turn, posterior blepharitis is heavier where it also affects the mucous membrane of the eyelid margin, causing changes in gland operation along the eyelid margin and getting blocked.
The development of chronic blepharitis can be caused by smoking, chemical gases, polluted air, etc., as well as by general diseases such as the skin disease rosacea, allergic dermatitis, psoriasis, etc.. Blepharitis is often present in people suffering from digestive tract diseases, thyroid hormone imbalance, and immune disorders.
Scaly scabs on the eyelashes
Meibomian gland dysfunction
The eyelid swollen and reddened
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
Symptoms of blepharitis usually include reddened eyelids and eyes, feeling of burning or alien body present in the eye, the presence of scaly scabs sticking to the base of the eyelashes and in the corners of the eye, sensitivity to light and even vision impairment. Severe and prolonged cases can also result in thickening of the eyelid margin and scaling of the skin.
In the case of chronic blepharitis, these symptoms can be permanent or periodically become less pronounced, with time coming back again.
How to diagnose blepharitis?
The diagnosis is based on the patient’s complaints and the microscopic exam of the eye. In some cases, eyelashes are taken to diagnose eyelash mites or a swab is used to collect a sample from the eyelid for a microbiological analysis.
What are medical treatment options for blepharitis?
The therapy is based on a routine cleaning or hygiene of the eyelid margins. Medication therapy is required only in cases to fight infection. Systemic antibiotics are more likely to be prescribed in case of posterior blepharitis, as well as with patients having lowered immunity or aggressive bacterial infection.
How to start eyelid hygiene to get a grip on blepharitis?
Eye health is improved by warm compresses, which are put on the eyelids. Warmth leaves an effect on the blocked glands of the eyelid margins and the oily secretions flow more readily and start to secrete better. Instead of compresses, it is also possible to use heat-cold bags available in special medical institutions, which are also sold in the Latvian American Eye Center.
You can mechanically clean the eyelid margins - to remove scaly scabs, as a result of which the blocked gland ducts are unplugged. The eyelid cleaning is done with a special flannel or a cotton wool bud and baby shampoo. It is important to rub along the eyelid margin, not the skin or conjunctiva. Rubbing should be gentle, not to hurt the eyelid margin.
In the case of posterior blepharitis, a good help for eye health recovery is the eyelid massage. The eyelid massage can be done with a finger gently massaging the eyelid in the direction of the eyelashes.
After having done the procedures described above, it is possible to slightly apply antibacterial ointments on the eyelid margins, prescribed by the doctor. Typically, the ointment is used for two weeks. For a longer lasting use, you must consult the oculist. If necessary, after the reduction of the acute symptoms, the doctor prescribes disinfectant ointment or gel, which may be used for a long period.
In all cases of blepharitis, eye surface wetting is required.
What more can be done?
In view of the wide spread of the disease, the medical industry is looking for new ways to help patients with chronic blepharitis. A fast and modern help in the cases of chronic inflammation of the eyelid margins or blepharitis, which is also available in the Latvian American Eye Center is the hygiene of the eyelids with the latest generation equipment BlephEx. The device is a pen-like instrument with a micro-sponge at the rotating tip, removing scaly scabs and debris from the free eyelid margins and the eyelashes, as well as removing microbe colonies.
Benefits of eyelid hygiene with BlephEx:
- The procedure is 10-15 minutes long;
- The procedure is painless;
- Removes plaque from eyelid margins and eyelash roots;
- Makes the administration of medicine more effective in the area of inflammation;
- Improves the functioning of glands in the eyelids;
- Uses only sterile, disposable cleaning tips.
Different warm compress oportunities for eyelids
Eyelid margin cleaning with a cotton wool bud
Eyelid cleaning with Blephex
The eyelid before and after cleaning with Blephexa