Eyelids that become inflamed may be a sign of blepharitis. This condition usually happens when the tiny oil glands where your eyelashes grow become clogged. While it’s a common problem, not many are aware of its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, your trusted provider of low vision therapy and other eye care services, answers the top questions about blepharitis.
Question #1: What Causes Blepharitis?
Blepharitis may happen for a number of reasons. The most common is malfunctioning or clogged oil glands in your eyelids. Another cause of blepharitis is allergic reactions to eye makeup, eye medications, or contact lens solution. Also, bacteria may infect your eyelids, causing them to become inflamed. Having dandruff or mites and lice may lead to this problem too.
Question #2: How Do I Know If I Have Blepharitis?
Apart from having puffy eyelids, blepharitis also causes red, watery, and gritty eyes. Your eyelids may feel itchy and greasy too. A burning or stinging sensation may be experienced as well. Sometimes, you may notice flaking of the skin around your eyes and crusting of your eyelashes, especially upon awakening. More severe cases may lead to light sensitivity, as well as abnormal growth or loss of eyelashes. Visit your eye doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.
Question #3: What Are the Remedies for Blepharitis?
During your appointment with your eye care specialist, we may perform an eye exam to determine the cause of your eyelid inflammation. If it’s due to bacterial infection, for example, we may prescribe antibiotics. That said, blepharitis can usually be managed by observing proper hygiene.
For one, avoid sharing things that come in contact with your eyes with others. We’ll instruct you to scrub your eyelids because this helps remove excess bacteria and biofilm build-up on your eyelid margins. Then, apply warm compresses to reduce the inflammation. For more severe cases, we may also perform eyelid scrubs in the clinic and prescribe medicated ointments or eye drops. We may suggest using eyeglasses instead of contact lenses in the meantime too.
Question #4: Can Blepharitis Cause Other Vision Problems?
Without proper and immediate management, blepharitis may result in eyelid scarring and abnormal eyelash growth cycle. You may also develop dry eyes or excessive tearing. Growths on your eyelids, like styes and chalazion, may appear eventually as well. Chronic blepharitis may lead to conjunctivitis and corneal injuries too.
For more information about blepharitis, complete our form for an appointment. We serve VA residents in Reston and nearby Virginia areas.