Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids usually the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. Blepharitis develops when the tiny oil glands that are found near the base of the eyelashes do not function properly and this condition will cause inflammation, irritation and itchy eyelids.
Symptoms of blepharitis
- Gritty and burning sensation experienced in the eye
- Watery and red-colored eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon waking up in the morning
- The eyelids appears greasy and itchy
- The skin surrounding the eyes are flaking
- Eyelashes that grows abnormally or misdirected eyelashes as well as loss of eyelashes
- Eyelids that are sticky, red in color and swells
- Sensitivity to light and frequent blinking
Causes of blepharitis
- Bacterial infections
- Malfunctioning of the oil glands in the eyelids
- Seborrheic dermatitis also known as dandruff of the scalp and the eyebrows
- Mites or lice in the eyelashes
- A skin condition that is characterized by facial redness also known as rosacea.
- Allergies including allergic reactions to some eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup.
- Isotretinoin which is a strong acne medication can cause an increase of bacteria in the eyelids and can also affect the production of tears.
People suffering from blepharitis can experience falling out or abnormal growth of the eyelashes or misdirected eyelashes. A scarring can happen in the eyelids caused by a long term blepharitis. There is abnormal secretion of oil and other debris coming from the eyelid such as flaking caused by dandruff, oil, water and mucus solution that will form a tear. If you want to learn more about this condition, read here.
There is also difficulty in wearing contact lenses. A sty is an infection that develops at the base of the eyelashes and will result to a lump that is painful and found at the edge of the eyelid. Another condition is a chalazion which develops when one of the oil glands found at the margin of eyelid is blocked. The gland can be infected with bacteria and will cause red and swelling eyelids. Blepharitis can also cause pink eye or conjunctivitis. Lastly, constant irritation of inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes can cause a sore or ulcer that develops on the cornea.
Treatment and home remedies
- Applying a warm compress on the closed eye for several minutes in order to loosen the crusty deposits on the eyelids.
- Use a washcloth that is moistened with warm water and put a few drops of any baby shampoo to wash away any oil debris or scales that are found at the base of the eyelashes.
- Oftentimes, there is a need to clean the edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes are found. All you have to do is to gently pull the eyelid away from the eye and wash it gently using a washcloth since this will help avoid damage to the cornea with the use of a washcloth.
- Rinse the eyelid using warm water and pat it dry with a clean and dry towel.
- Continue the treatment until signs and symptoms disappear and stop using makeup when the eyelids are still swelling. Makeup can cause bacteria to develop which can cause an allergic reaction.