Finding Relief: Treatment for Blepharitis
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is the medical term for inflammation of the eyelids. It often affects the lid margin and presents as red, swollen and crusty eyes. Blepharitis is one of the most common eye disorders with no single etiollogy. Some of the common risk factors include: dry eye, improper makeup use, ocular rosacea, allergies, demodex and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Secondary eye infection and conjunctivitis or “pink eye” are possible complications of blepharitis. Although uncomfortable and sometimes unsightly, blepharitis does not usually cause permanent damage to vision. Blepharitis can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, where your optometrist can recommend the best treatment options for you.
Typically, lid scrubs are recommended to help clean along the lashes and decrease the amount of bacteria. These are used to help decrease bacteria and skin cells that can cause the eyelids to get inflamed and cause dry eyes and infections. There are a number of treatment options available to relieve the symptoms of blepharitis:
- Use a warm compress. Applying a warm compress to the eyes for at least a minute will help loosen the crust and flakes around the eyelashes. It will also help to keep the nearby Meibomian glands open and releasing oil. This can be done using a Bruder warm compress mask or by wetting a clean washcloth with warm water.
- Eyelid cleaning. Due to the change in composition of baby shampoo and since the eyelid contains the thinnest skin in the body, we do not recommend baby shampoo for cleaning your lashes anymore. Instead, use a safe eyelid cleaner as recommended by your optometrist, such as Blephaclean, Blephadex or BiHocl.
- In Office ZEST (Zocular Eyelid System treatment. ZEST is like a deep shampoo for the eyes to clean and debride the lids and lashes. The procedure involves applying a gel to the eyelid margin and lashes with a cotton swab and cleaning in a circular motion, working the gel into a lather. Following the deep cleansing procedure, the gel is rinsed off with saline solution. The ZEST gel is formulated with a refined extract of okra- an edible green seed pod; to lift and clear oil, debris and residue along the eyelid margin.
- Eye drops. Your optometrist may recommend artificial tears or prescribe steroid drops to reduce the irritation, redness and swelling.
- Antibiotics. Your optometrist may also prescribe an antibiotic ointment, drops or pills if your blepharitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Ointment can be applied with a cotton swab or clean fingertip to the base of the eyelashes before bedtime or as recommended by the doctor.
- Prevention. Maintaining eyelid and lash hygiene is the best way to prevent blepharitis. This may also involve keeping the nearby skin and hair clean and free of dandruff. There are antimicrobial sprays such as the BiHOCL hypochlorous acid spray that can be used on the eyes to prevent bacterial growth.
If you are suffering from the symptoms of blepharitis or dry eye:
Call us at 519-473-3937 and schedule a Dry Eye Consultation today.