Blepharitis is a common condition associated with dry eye. The edges of the eyelids become red, swollen and inflamed, causing irritation to the skin of the eyelid and base of the eyelashes.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
The symptoms of blepharitis vary from person to person but can include:
- Itchy, sore and red eyelids
- Crusting of eyelids
- Eyelids stick together
- Burning, gritty sensation
- Swollen eyelid margins
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Reduced contact lens wearing time
- Crusting on the eyelids
- Abnormal eyelash growth or loss of eyelashes (in severe cases)
What are the causes of blepharitis?
There are variety of potential causes of blepharitis including:
Staphylococcus bacteria – this common bacteria lives on the skin, but for unknown reasons in some individuals can cause the eyelids to become inflamed.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis – a skin condition that causes skin to become oily or flaky and sometimes can lead to irritation of the eyelids. It is often a contributing cause of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction resulting in inflammation, blockage and potential long-term damage to oil producing meibomian glands.
Demodex mites – are a common cause of blepharitis. They consume cells in the hair follicle potentially leading to loose or misdirected lashes. Demodex related infection is often present when cylindrical type crusting is visible at the base of the lashes. Demodex lives naturally in our skin but too many can cause blepharitis. IPL treatment, BlephEx treatment combined with specially formulated anti-Demodex lid wipes are recommended in cases of demodex blepharitis.
How do you treat blepharitis?
There are a variety of treatments available for blepharitis depending on the type and the severity. Once our optometrists establish which type you are suffering from and have graded its severity they will offer a personalised treatment plan to eradicate the issue and hopefully improve your symptoms.
Treatment options may include:
In-practice treatments: IPL and BlephEx
At-Home treatments: Heat (e.g. MGDRx Eye Bag)
Lid hygiene (e.g. Blephaclean Eyelid wipes)
Medical Treatments: Topical antibiotics (Azyter Eye Drops)
Topical antibiotics (e.g. Doxycycline tablets)