Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the eyelids. Blepharitis is caused by an overgrowth of the normal bacteria that lives along the eyelid and base of the eyelashes. Blepharitis can occur at any point in life, but generally affects the older population. As we age, we make fewer antibodies in our tears, making us more susceptible to blepharitis.
This overgrowth of bacteria causes a biofilm, which traps debris along the eyelashes and harbors bacterial exotoxins along the eyelid. The exotoxins cause inflammation along the eyelid, which affect the tear glands, turning down tear production. Fewer tears, containing fewer antibodies, allow more bacteria to accumulate. This leads to chronic irritation and dry eye.
Since the eyelids are difficult to clean, the biofilm and debris can accumulate over years, and this can cause significant damage to the eyelid and tear glands.
Symptoms of blepharitis:
- Red, irritated eyelids
- Eyelid margins appear greasy
- Watery eyes
- Swollen eyelids
- Flaking skin around the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon waking
A treatment called BlephEx® has been approved for managing the symptoms of blepharitis. BlephEx® allows your doctor to clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes. This should almost immediately improve your symptoms. In addition, the complete cleaning of the eyelid can help prevent the long term inflammatory damage to the tear glands, helping to prevent chronic dry eye.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of blepharitis, contact Frantz EyeCare. Schedule your appointment today!