Blepharitis is a medical condition of the eye characterised by inflammation of the eyelids. It usually affects the portion of the eyelids where eyelashes stem from and occur simultaneously in both eyes.
Blepharitis develops when the oil-secreting glands in the eyelids, known as meibomian glands, get blocked due to infection from certain microbes or various other factors.
In most instances, it is a chronic disorder that gives rise to constant irritation and prominent reddening of the eyes. Although blepharitis can be rather unsightly, it is treatable and not contagious. Also Read: Itchy Eyes? These Allergens Could Be The Cause
Blepharitis can be caused due to numerous reasons such as:
- Allergies from eye medications or eye makeup
- Seborrheic dermatitis, a fungal skin disorder wherein dandruff occurs in the scalp and eyebrows.
- Bacterial infections
- Abnormal functioning of oil glands in eyelids leading to their clogging
- The distinguishing symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Frequent watering in eyes
- Redness in both eyes, due to infection
- Oily discharge from eyelids
- Stinging sensation with major discomfort in the eyes
- Itching and swelling of eyelids
- Increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
- Rapid falling of eyelash hair
Diagnosis And Treatment
The eye doctor or ophthalmologist will initially examine the eyes and eyelids of the patient, using a magnifying instrument, to look for any irregular bulges or redness. Moreover, in case any oil secretions are present, the healthcare provider collects a sample using a swab, to determine if any microbial contamination such as bacteria or fungi is present in the eyelids of the individual.
Once the diagnosis of blepharitis is confirmed, the doctor recommends appropriate treatment measures depending upon the severity of the inflammation.
In situations of mild discomfort with minimal swelling, the doctor suggests to routinely apply a warm compress to pacify the redness in addition to washing the eyes regularly with lukewarm water. Also Read: Global Handwashing Day 2019: The Importance Of Sanitizing For Healthier Living
However, if the instance of blepharitis is severe with immense soreness, red eyes flaking and oily discharge from eyelashes, then the doctor prescribes oral medications to fight the infection as well as topical steroidal eye drops or ointments to control the inflammation.