Blepharitis

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids. Symptoms include: irritation, itching, morning crusting and occasionally red eye.

Bacteria reside on the surface of everyone's skin, but in certain individuals they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. The resulting irritation, sometimes associated with over activity of the nearby oil glands, causes dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.

How is Blepharitis Treated?

Blepharitis can be a stubborn problem. Although there is no specific cure, it can be controlled through a careful, regular program of hygiene.

The cleansing routine described on the following page should be carried out once a day at bedtime for at least one month and then, two or three times a week indefinitely.

CLEANSING ROUTINE A (blepharitis): AT BEDTIME EVERY DAY FOR ONE MONTH, THEN TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK INDEFINITELY.

1. Take a clean washcloth, wet it with warm water, wring it out and place it over your eyelids for one minute. This will help to soften the crusts and loosen the oily debris. Rewet as necessary to maintain the desired temperature.

2. Make this cleaning solution:   Dilute 3 drops of baby shampoo with 1 ounce of warm water.

3. Moisten a Q-tip with 6-8 drops of the cleansing solution and then gently scrub the eyelid margins (eyelashes). Your eyes should not be squeezed tightly shut, but closed softly as if you were sleeping. You may brush in either a horizontal or vertical direction as long as the granular debris trapped in the eyelashes is effectively loosened and removed. This procedure should take about half a minute for each eyelid.

4. Thoroughly rinse your eyelids with the original clean washcloth and dry gently with a clean towel.

5. If ointment (Polysporin eye ointment) has been prescribed, apply to the eyelids along the base of lashes nightly for two weeks, and then, only at times when needed.

CLEANSING ROUTINE B (blepharitis and meibomitis): AT BEDTIME EVERY DAY FOR ONE MONTH, THEN TWO OR THREE TIMES A WEEK INDEFINITELY.

1. Soak your eyelids with a warm wet cloth for at least two minutes. Rewet as necessary to maintain the desired temperature. This helps to liquefy the retained oil in the glands.

2. Massage both upper and lower eyelids in a vertical direction towards the eyelid margin.  This aids to express the oil glands.

3. Make this cleaning solution: Dilute 3 drops of baby shampoo with 1 ounce of warm water.

4. Moisten a Q-Tip, with 6-8 drops of the cleansing solution and then gently rub the eyelid margins (base of eyelashes). Your eyes should not be squeezed tightly shut, but closed softly as if you were sleeping. You may brush in either a horizontal or vertical direction as long as the granular debris trapped in the eyelashes is effectively loosened and removed. This procedure should take about half a minute for each eyelid.

5. Thoroughly rinse your eyelids with the original clean washcloth and dry gently with a clean towel.

6. If ointment (Polysporin eye ointment) has been prescribed, apply to the eyelids along the base of lashes nightly for two weeks, and then, only at times when needed.

 

The most effective way to warming the eyelids is a gel mask, which retains heat for 15 minutes.  These are available for purchase in our office.