What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids.

Symptoms include:

  • eye and eyelid irritation
  • itchiness of the eye
  • redness of the eye
  • stinging or burning of the eye

What causes Blepharitis?

Everyone has bacteria on the surface of their skin, but in some people, bacteria thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. For these people, large amounts of bacteria around the eyelashes can cause dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.

How is blepharitis treated?

Blepharitis is often a chronic condition, but it can be controlled with the following treatment options:

  • Warm compresses – Wet a clean washcloth with warm water, wring it out, and place it over your closed eyelids for at least one minute. Repeat two or three times, rewetting the washcloth as it cools. This will help to loosen the scales and debris around your eyelashes. It also helps dilute oil secretions from nearby oil glands, preventing the development of a chalazion (pronounced kuh-LAY-zee-un) — an enlarged lump caused by clogged oil secretions in the eyelid.
  • Eyelid scrubs – Using a clean washcloth, cotton swab or commercial lint-free pad soaked in warm water, gently scrub the base of your eyelashes for about 15 seconds per eyelid. We recommend a prescription strength scrub sold through our office called HypoChlor Solution or Sterilid®.
  • Antibiotic ointment – Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment. Using a clean fingertip or cotton swab, gently apply a small amount at the base of the eyelashes before bedtime.
  • BlephEx – BlephEx is a new, in office procedure that provides a microblepharoexfoliation along your eyelids to completely exfoliate and remove the built-up bacteria and debris that is causing, or will cause, inflammation of your lids. Comparable to getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist, this is a deep cleaning treatment that will require maintenance at home using eyelid scrubs or warm compresses as described above in between treatments. It is performed in the office by our optometrist, Dr. Elaine Bourdeau, and takes about 30 minutes. For additional information regarding BlephEx, visit their Website.

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