What is blepharitis?
Inflammation of eyelids is known as blepharitis. This condition is characterised by inflammation, redness, crusting, scaling of eyelids. It causes burning sensation, itching, foreign body sensation and dryness in the eyes.
1. Infection e.g. Bacterial or parasitic infection.
2. Seborrheic tendency of individual (some individuals are prone for dandruff formation over scalp etc).
Types of blepharitis:
1. Staphylococcal blepharitis
2. Seborrheic blepharitis
3. Ulcerative blepharitis
4. Meibomian blepharitis
• Burning sensation, Itching, crusting, scaling of eyelids.
• Photophobia, blurred vision, foreign body sensation
• Watering of eyes
• Red eye
• Loss of eyelashes
• Recurrent stye
Swollen and reddened eyelids with scaly scabs
Some skin condition makes patient prone for blepharitis e.g. Rosacea, allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis etc.
Slit lamp examination of eye lid margin, eye lashes, meibomian gland opening, tear film status, debris can give idea about blepharitis. In parasitic blepharitis, parasites (Demodex folliculorum, Pthiriasis palpebrum etc) can be seen in matted eyelashes. Tear break up time is on lower side due to associated dryness with blepharitis.
Lid hygiene is the most important remedy, it may prevent occurrence of blepharitis. Washing eyelid margin with hypoallergenic soap/ shampoo (Johnson baby shampoo) while taking bath may prevent blepharitis. Proper treatment for dermatological condition by dermatologist is necessary. Blepharitis is chronic condition with frequent exacerbation which needs routine eyelid hygiene.
Warm compresses- It softens & loosens crusty deposits over eyelid margin. It helps in stimulating oily meibum secretion from meibomian glands which is required for proper functioning of tear film. Wet warm cloth compresses for 5 minutes per eye is recommended.
Medical line of treatment includes topical antibiotic & steroid eye drops under supervision of your eye doctor. Lubricant drops give symptomatic relief, removes foreign body sensation. Some ointment containing azithromycine works well for meibomitis. Oral antibiotic e.g. doxycycline helps in severe condition.
Lot of times people worry how long does Blepharitis last. Well, Blepharitis is a chronic disease and tends to relapse. However, it is not contagious. So it is important that home remedies like lid scrubs and warm compresses should not be discontinued.
If not controlled and in some severe cases, Blepharitis can lead to eye surface inflammation with involvement of limbus and cornea. Untreated this can lead to severe vision loss as well. Hence it is important that blepharitis is kept under control.