What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic condition that refers to inflammation of the eyelids, and typically affects the margins of the eyelids. This is often a recurring condition associated with bacterial infections or skin disorders such as dandruff or acne rosacea. Blepharitis is not serious and symptoms may be alleviated easily. However, symptoms can cause much discomfort and it is therefore imperative that eye hygiene becomes a daily routine.
Symptoms and Signs
The symptoms and signs of blepharitis include:
- Sore, irritated eyes
- Burning sensation in the eye
- Red, swollen or inflamed eyes
- Itchy eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Crusted debris in the eyelashes or in the corner of the eyes or lids upon waking
- Flaky skin around the eyes
- Dryness of the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Excessive tearing
- Loss of eyelashes
- Abnormal growth of eyelashes
What causes Blepharitis?
Blepharitis can affect the outside portion of the eyelid where the eyelashes are attached – this is known as anterior blepharitis. If blepharitis affects the inner portion of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eye, it is known as posterior blepharitis.
Conditions that may cause blepharitis include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows)
- Bacterial infection
- Malfunctioning of the oil glands in the eyelid
- Acne rosacea
- Lice infestation on the eyelashes
How is Blepharitis Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of blepharitis is determined after a thorough examination of the eyes and eyelids. A special magnifying instrument may be used during the examination and a sample of skin deposits may be collected to check for any bacteria. Help and treatment for people with Blepharitis tends to recur but regular treatment can relieve symptoms.
Firstly, eye hygiene is very important. Using a flannel or facecloth soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes, gently press on the eyelids to soften the skin. Remove any crusts with warm flannel that may be attached to the eyelids. Massage the eyelids by gently rolling your first finger on the eyelids to push out mucus-like fluid from the tiny eyelid glands.
Clean the eyelids using a cotton wool bud dipped in a solution of baby shampoo or sodium bicarbonate with warm water. This routine should be repeated at least four times a day to relieve symptoms, and then once a day to prevent recurrences.
If an eyelid becomes infected, medications such as antibiotic eye ointment or drops may be prescribed. Artificial tear eye drops can help if dry eyes develop. If blepharitis is associated with skin conditions such as dandruff or acne rosacea, these conditions need to be treated first to relieve the symptoms of blepharitis.
Help for Blepharitis
More and more people are opting for a more natural approach to skin health as they become aware of the synthetic ingredients and chemicals used in skincare and cosmetics. Nature has a few selected herbal and homeopathic ingredients to support skin health and functioning and promote healthy cell renewal.
Two wonderful herbs such as Galium aperine (Cleavers) and Trifolium pratense (red clover) have a wide range of therapeutic benefits and also purifies and detoxifies the body’s system. Homeopathic ingredients such as Natrium muriaticum and Kalium muriaticum help to promote a well-hydrated skin and act as a blood and lymph cleanser as well as waste eliminator.