There are many possible causes of red, itchy eyes. Allergies and dry eyes are common culprits of these symptoms, among many others.
However, sometimes, these symptoms are the result of an issue involving the eyelids. Blepharitis is a common eye condition that affects the eyelids but can cause some uncomfortable symptoms in the eyes as well.
Keep reading to learn more about blepharitis, including what it is and how it’s treated!
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common condition that is caused by inflammation of the eyelids. It causes redness, irritation, and swelling of the eyelid margins, where the eyelashes grow out.
This can make the eyes feel gritty and like there is something in them even when there isn’t. Blepharitis is typically chronic, meaning it’s ongoing and comes back periodically.
It’s often triggered by bacteria, tiny mites that live along the base of the eyelashes, or skin conditions like dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis. Things like makeup residue, oil production from glands in the eyelids, and environmental irritants can also set it off.
Symptoms besides redness and irritation include crusting on the eyelids, blurred vision, excess tearing, light sensitivity, and eyelashes that grow incorrectly or fall out more easily.
Can You Prevent or Treat Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common eye condition. Some studies show that ophthalmologists see blepharitis in nearly half of their patients.
Thankfully, the condition is neither contagious nor challenging to treat. Prevention can be as easy as gently cleaning your eyelids regularly and removing any dead skin or buildup.
When cleaning your eyelids, be sure to wash your hands first. Use warm water and gentle soap or shampoo. Your eye doctor may also recommend an over-the-counter lid scrub as well.
Lightly soak a soft cloth in the mixture and hold it gently against one of your eyes. Carefully rub the cloth back and forth.
Once you are finished, rinse with fresh water. Use a clean soap mixture and cloth for your second eye.
Keeping the eyelids clean and free of bacteria through daily lid scrubs is helpful. However, in some cases, more advanced treatment might be necessary.
Over-the-counter or prescription antibiotic ointments and anti-inflammatory eyedrops may also provide relief. Severe, chronic blepharitis may require prescription medications or procedures from an eye doctor.
If you are experiencing symptoms of blepharitis, visit your eye doctor at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL. They may recommend treatment with the BlephEx® system.
This thorough treatment involves cleaning your eyelashes and eyelids to help reduce and prevent inflammation over time. Over-the-counter or prescription antibiotic ointments and anti-inflammatory eyedrops may also provide relief.
Severe, chronic blepharitis may require prescription medications or procedures from an eye doctor.
What is the Difference Between Dry Eye & Blepharitis?
Many people with blepharitis symptoms assume they are experiencing dry eye. Dry eye and blepharitis are two common eye conditions with overlapping symptoms but different underlying causes.
Dry eye occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough quality tears to stay lubricated. This leads to irritation, redness, stinging or burning, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and a gritty sensation.
Blepharitis is inflammation along the edges of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. It’s usually caused by bacteria, tiny mites, dandruff, or skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.
The key difference is that dry eye is a lack of sufficient tears, while blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margins. Despite some similar symptoms like redness and irritation, they have different root causes.
If you are experiencing any symptoms related to dry eye or blepharitis, it’s important to visit your eye doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Are you experiencing symptoms of blepharitis? Schedule an appointment at Frantz EyeCare in Fort Myers, FL, today!