To me, nothing is scarier than losing my sight. Even if for a minute, I know my world will turn upside down.
I believe that if you have eyes, you should be able to open them. That’s the least that our eyes can do. Unfortunately, if you have blepharitis, you can’t even open your eyes. Ever heard of it before?
Eyelid inflammation is a common condition that affects 1 in every 3 people in the UK. In severe cases, this condition is painful and leads to visual disturbances. In this blog, I am going to talk at length about what is blepharitis, what causes it and the treatment options at your disposal.
Let’s get right into it!
What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids that occurs due to a normal bacterial infection, makeup allergy, or malfunctioning of the tiny oil glands that lubricate your eyes.
The clogged oil glands cause redness and irritation in the eyes. It can happen to anyone and at any age. Based on its severity, this condition is categorised as either acute or chronic.
While you won’t experience permanent vision loss or damage, take it from me, blepharitis is highly uncomfortable and nasty.
Causes of Blepharitis
It’s hard to put your finger on the exact culprit behind eyelid inflammation; It takes real detective skills. However, the following possible factors might trigger this problem:
- Bacterial eyelid dysfunction
- Dysfunctional meibomian glands
- Dry eyes
- Fungal eye infections
- Eyelash mites or lice
- Scalp and eyebrow dandruff
One of the most common causes of blepharitis is bacterial overgrowth on the margins of the eyelids. The overgrowth leads to the formation of a biofilm that the eyelash mites and lice feed on. It results in the worsening of eyelid inflammation.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Blepharitis signs and symptoms are typically worse in the morning after you wake up. They include:
- Watering eyes
- Red eyes
- A stinging or burning sensation in the eyes
- Greasy eyelids
- Itchy eyelids
- Red and swollen eyelids
- Flaky skin beneath the eyes
- Crusted debris in the corners of your eyes
- Eyelid sticking
- Frequent blinking
- Growing light sensitivity
- Blurred vision that gets better with blinking
It is important that you watch out for these symptoms of blepharitis and start the treatment as soon as possible.
If you spot these symptoms, make sure you go and see an eye doctor. You can use your NHS optical vouchers and if you are out of those, you can always come to us and get a free eye test.
The symptoms of blepharitis are the same as those of dry eyes. Don’t get confused between the two and seek the right treatment. If you are an avid internet user, you probably have dry eyes due to excessive screen time. Yes, your beloved screen does that to your eyes.
To battle this problem, use blue light blocking glasses that will shield your eyes from blue light and reduce the dry eye symptoms.
So you have visited your eye doctor and he/she has diagnosed blepharitis, now what? Well, your doctor will first determine the cause behind the inflammation. They will inspect your eyes and eyelids to determine the type of blepharitis treatment that’ll work the best in your case.
The treatment options generally include:
Antibiotics will reduce or stop bacterial progression in your eyelids. It is up to your doctor whether he/she recommends antibiotics in the ointment, pill or liquid eye drop form. If the infection has spread beyond your eyelids, you will probably get eye drops.
2. Eyelid Scrubs
Eyelid scrubs will gently clean your eyes and bring relief to the inflamed eyelids. When you scrub your eyelids, it will wash away the excess bacteria, biofilm and crusty debris that’s built up along your lash line.
Your doctor may even ask you to use warm compresses to reduce eyelid inflammation as a part of the blepharitis treatment.
3. Topical Steroid
If the condition is not caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, your doctor may recommend topical steroids, ointment or eye drops to soothe down the inflammation. Eye drops will lubricate your eyes and prevent irritation from dry eyes.
Blepharitis - What could go wrong?
This condition comes with some potential risks, eyelash loss is one among them. Eyelid inflammation damages the delicate hair follicles and makes the eyelashes grow rather incorrectly or not grow at all.
In the short run, you may also have to deal with pink eyes or dry eyes. However, the long-term complications of blepharitis may include:
- Eyelid scarring
- Chronic conjunctivitis
- A stye
No matter the type of eye infection, if left untreated, it could lead to ocular damage or severe vision loss. Specscart has a collection of fashionable prescription & non-prescription glasses with wide frames so that nothing gets into your eye and causes trouble.
Preventing Blepharitis - How to clean your eyelids?
Anything wrong with your eyes can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this condition is common and can happen to anyone. But, you can practice eyelid hygiene to reduce your risk of blepharitis.
Here is what you can do:
- Wash your face often and remove eye makeup before you hit the sack.
- Don’t touch your eyes with dirty hands and avoid rubbing your eyes even when the eyelids are feeling itchy.
- When feeling inflammation, put the warm washcloth over your eyes for a couple of minutes.
- One way to treat blepharitis is to use eyelid wipes to remove the biofilm and bacteria.
- If you notice pain, redness or swelling, do get your eyelids checked.
- Use an anti-dandruff or prescription shampoo if you have a severe dandruff problem.
- Massage your eyelids to stimulate the tiny oil glands.
- Swap your regular makeup remover for a cleansing oil that is much less likely to irritate your eyes.
- If the situation remains the same, don’t hesitate to make a trip to your eye doctor.
Follow your doctor’s guidance on how often you should use the warm compresses and how long should you place them on your eye.
What if you wear contacts or glasses?
If you wear contacts and develop blepharitis, you will have to say goodbye to your lenses. The bacteria or debris can stick to your contacts causing eye infections such as the pink eye.
If you don’t have a prescription, see an optician and get one. You will have to say goodbye to the lenses and hello to the glasses. They will correct your vision without increasing your risk of infection. Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love with your specs because why not.
You may choose to buy glasses online from Specscart and treat yourself with the different styles and silhouettes. In case you need them for an emergency, we will dispatch them to you within 24 hours via Specscart Rocket.
A pro tip here - Make sure the glasses you choose have photochromic or transition lenses. Since dry eyes are often sensitive to light, they will feel more comfortable with transition glasses on.