What is Blepharitis? Inflammation of the Eyelids
Have your eyelids ever been inflamed?
Do they have an unusual red colour and feel like they’re burning causing irritation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Blepharitis could be causing you this pain.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis may have an unusual name, but it’s a common condition that most people will have in their lifetime. It causes inflammation of the eyelids and is classified as a chronic external eye disorder.
What Causes Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is caused by the inflammation of the oil glands that are located behind the eyelashes. These are the glands that are responsible for producing the outermost layer of tears.
Getting Blepharitis is nothing to cry about – it’s a common condition that our Kelowna optometry clinic sees often. When you get this condition, it’s because the oil from these glands cannot flow properly and the openings become plugged.
If you don’t treat the cause of your Blepharitis, these glands will become irritated and possibly even more infected. You can lose eyelashes as well as feel recurrent painful eyelid swelling or styes may form.
Scales that look like dandruff may be visible at the base of the eyelid. Many people can experience a sensation of burning in the morning in addition to their eyelids being matted shut. While this may seem scary, if this happens to you, simply put a warm face cloth on your eyes and slowly and gently wipe away anything around your eyes.
There are many Blepharitis causes. The exact scientific cause isn’t clear but it can be associated with:
- Seborrheic dermatitis – dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
- A bacterial infection
- Allergies including reactions to medications or contact lenses
- The use of old and outdated eye makeup
- Eyelash mites or lice
- Clogged oil glands in the eyelids
- Malfunctioning oil glands in the eyelids
- Rosacea – A skin condition characterized by facial redness
It occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin and dandruff. But, it can happen at any age to anyone.
Blepharitis and dry eyes can often occur at the same time, which has confused many researchers. This happens so often that some researchers and eye doctors believe that Blepharitis and dry eyes are part of a single chronic eye problem that is called Dry Eye Blepharitis Syndrome (DEBS).
Kelowna Eyelid Infection Treatment
If you believe you have Blepharitis, it’s time to for eyelid infection treatment.
Treatment must begin with a visit to your local Kelowna eye doctor to determine your Blepharitis causes. To set up an appointment with Dr. Mat Broschak, contact us today. We’re conveniently located in Orchard Park Mall.
Once we determine if you have Blepharitis, it’s time to discuss your treatment options.
Treatment for an eyelid infection include:
Eyelid scrubs – To start off at your home, you can gently scrub your eyelids to remove the buildup of excess bacteria from your lid margins. This is something you can do if you’re having a hard time opening your eyes in the morning.
Daily warm compresses and lid scrubs can include prescription eyelid cleaners, non-prescription eyelid cleansing pads, diluted baby shampoo or just warm water.
In-office procedures – In-office eyelid infection treatment is often recommended for those with Blepharitis. Some treatments include:
- Electromechanical lid margin debridement. This procedure removes bacteria, biofilm and mites from your eyelids to open up the clogged glands.
- Intense pulsed light therapy. This procedure has the goal of opening clogged eyelid glands to help resume normal flow of oils to the tear film.
- Thermal Pulsation Treatment. This procedure removes material obstructing the meibomian glands.
Eye drops or ointments – At Orchard Park Optometry, we can prescribe medicated eye drops or topical medicines like ointments to remove excess blepharitis-causing bacteria. This is given when there’s more of a risk for an eye infection or you have another eye infection (like Pink Eye) as well as Blepharitis.
Blepharitis Causes – Keeping it From Coming Back
As Blepharitis is a chronic condition, that means it can come back and can be a recurring problem.
We believe the best way to avoid blepharitis or keep it from coming back frequently is to clean your eyelids daily.
Tips from Dr. Mat Broschak
While we mentioned above the eyelid infection treatment options, you should also do the following:
- Wash your hands
- Dampen a washcloth with nearly hot water
- Place this washcloth over your closed eyes and leave it for a few minutes
- Gently rub your eyelid margin before opening your eyes.
To clean your eyelids:
- Wash your hands
- Wet a cotton swab or gauze pad with cleaning solution
- Wipe your eyelashes and lid margin gently
- Rinse with warm water
- Repeat for the other eye using a clean cotton swab or gauze.
If your Blepharitis flares up while wearing contact lenses, discontinue use until the eyelid infection treatment is successfully finished.
Contact Us Today
If you have any more questions regarding what is Blepharitis and the symptoms and treatment, contact Orchard Park Optometry today. Dr. Mat Broschak is the proud owner of Orchard Park Optometry and is available to discuss this condition with you. Book an appointment with him by calling 250-762-2090 or contact us online.