Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eye lids and can affect people of all ages. It usually affects the rim of the eyelids of both eyes and usually is not serious but still irritating and uncomfortable. Eyelids may become crusty and scaly and eyes may feel gritty and very tired with increasing irritation when outdoors in sunshine or around any polluted or smoke filled environment.
Causes of Blepharitis can be associated with skin conditions such as rosacea and eye conditions like conjunctivitis.
- A gritty, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
- Eyelids that appear crusty and scaly
- Itchy eyelids
- Red, swollen eyelids
- Flaking of the skin around the eyes
- Sensitivity to light
The Doctor may prescribe a combination of treatments depending on the type of Bepharitis: anterior or posterior.
- Clean the lid margin by dipping a clean cotton bud in normal saline and clean away any crusts present on the eyelashes. A mirror may be helpful. Refrain from cleaning the inside of the eyelids as this will result in them being sore. Repeat the process twice a day.
- Antibiotic drops: Apply as directed by pulling the lower lid off the eyeball and letting the drop fall into the pocket without touching the lid.
- Hot compresses: Dip a clean gauze in boiled water and hold it on your lids with your eyes closed, for 5 minutes twice a day. Ensure water temperature is not too hot prior to application.
- Lid massage: Roll your finger/cotton bud towards the margin 10 times each for the top and bottom lid, twice a day.
- Antibiotic ointment: Apply as directed, by squeezing 1 cm out of the tube onto your index finger and rubbing it onto the lid margin. It is very important that you follow the instructions in the order shown above.