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Blepharitis is a chronic eye condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelids. Although its exact prevalence is difficult to assess, it is seen commonly by both primary care clinicians and ophthalmologists.The most frequent patient complaint is of ongoing eye irritation, often accompanied by eye redness. The chronicity of blepharitis is punctuated by intermittent exacerbations.
Alternative Names of Blepharitis are: Eyelid inflammation; Granulated Eyelids
Complications of Blepharitis
Serious complications of blepharitis are rare. The most common problem people face is they are unable to wear contact lenses. It may be necessary for you to use an alternative aid, such as glasses, until your symptoms are under control.
Mild cases can be treated by applying a hot compress to the area. More serious cases can be treated with antibiotic creams and tablets.
Causes of Blepharitis
Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that can affect the outer portion of your eyelid where the eyelashes attach (anterior blepharitis) or the inner portion of your eyelid that comes into contact with your eye (posterior blepharitis).
Conditions associated with blepharitis include:
Blepharitis may be caused by a combination of factors. Less commonly, blepharitis may result from allergies or even an infestation of lice on the eyelashes.
Signs & Symptoms of Blepharitis
Signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:
The eyelids may appear greasy and crusted with scales that cling to the lashes. This debris can cause the eyelids to stick together at night. You may have to pry your eyes open in the morning because of these sticky secretions. Sometimes you may notice only the presence of dried tear secretions in the morning that feel like small grains of sand.
Diagnosis of Blepharitis
Most cases of blepharitis can be diagnosed by the doctor asking you about your symptoms, making an examination of your eyes and checking for any associated medical condition such as seborrhoeic dermatitis or rosacea.If your symptoms are particularly severe, or you have experienced any loss of vision, you may be referred to an ophthalmologist (an expert in the treatment of eye conditions).They will run further tests to make sure that your symptoms are not being caused by another condition, such as a more serious type of eye infection.
Treatments of Blepharitis
Blepharitis can be difficult to treat. Good hygiene - regular cleaning of the area - can control signs and symptoms and prevent complications. But if your condition doesn't improve, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or ointment. In severe cases, eyedrops containing antibiotics and steroids may be prescribed. If your blepharitis is linked to an underlying cause such as dandruff or rosacea, treating those conditions may alleviate the blepharitis. Blepharitis rarely disappears completely. Even with successful treatment, relapses are common. Paying extra attention to good hygiene at those times may help bring the condition back under control.
Prevention of Blepharitis
There are many everyday steps that you can take to prevent blepharitis. This includes:
If you are in the early stages of treating blepharitis, avoid the use of eye makeup to prevent further irritation. Once you begin using makeup again, replace your products used in or near the eyelids because they may be contaminated.
When to seek Medical Advice
If your signs and symptoms don't seem to be improving despite good hygiene - regular cleaning and care of the area - make an appointment to see your doctor.
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