What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids which can make eyelashes and eyelids red, crusty and itchy. It can also cause stinging or burning soreness, and in some cases your lashes may fall out. You can also develop ulcers or styes if you have this condition. Although blepharitis is an uncomfortable long-term condition, it rarely causes serious damage to your eyes. It normally affects both eyes, and it can come back even after treatment.
Why do I get blepharitis?
An infection may cause anterior blepharitis that affects the outside front edge of your eyelids, but you can also get posterior blepharatis in which case your meibomian glands are affected (that produce part of your tears). You may also get blepharitis if there is a complication of seborrhoeic dermatitis, which can make your skin flaky or inflamed.
Who is at risk of getting blepharitis?
Anyone can develop this condition, but it is more common among people over 50. As you get older the tears contain fewer lubricants which can lead to gritty and dry eyes.
What happens if I have blepharitis?
There are a couple of treatments which may help reduce the effects of it, but as blepharitis is a chronic condition, often it cannot be completely cured.
You can use warm compresses which will help loosen the crusts on the eyelid and make them easier to remove. It may also help if you use a flannel which, after soaking it in hot water, you have to put on your shut eyelids for five minutes.
After loosening the crusts, it also helps if you scrub your lids with a solution of one part baby shampoo to ten parts water. You can also use bicarbonate soda for this purpose. Alternatively ready-made lid scrubs are also available. You should aim for the base of your eyelashes while scrubbing.
Lubricants, such as gel or drops may also help soothing the eyes and make them feel more comfortable. Beside lubricants, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed for you that you have to take for three months, but this option needs further consulting with a specialist.
Try to avoid having eye make-up if you have this condition.