What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a condition in which the edges of the eyelids and eyelashes become inflamed.

It is usually caused by bacteria or other skin conditions such as dandruff, skin allergies or eczema. If you have blepharitis it is very likely that you will also get stye.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

Symptoms of blepharitis can vary according to the type and degree of inflammation, with some patients experiencing milder symptoms while others may suffer more severe manifestations of the disease.

The most common symptoms of blepharitis include redness and inflammation of the eyelids, itching and dryness of the skin around the eyes.

Scaling of the skin on the edges of the eyelids is also often observed, which may be accompanied by crusting or sudden itchy bumps.

These symptoms can cause discomfort and inconvenience to affected people.

In some cases, the patient’s eyelashes may become weaker and fall out, which may contribute to the further development of the problem.

In addition, blepharitis can also lead to the development of chalazions and swelling of the eyelids, which are painful and characterized by the formation of complete or partial closures of the oil glands of the eyelids.

One of the main factors contributing to the appearance of blepharitis is improper eye hygiene.

Eyelid hairs can create a suitable environment for the development of bacteria and irritants that lead to inflammation.

Other factors that can increase the risk of blepharitis include allergies, skin conditions, infections, contact lenses, demodex (parasitic mites that inhabit the eyelashes), seborrheic dermatitis, or rosacea.

How is blepharitis diagnosed?

To diagnose and treat blepharitis, it is necessary to consult an experienced eye doctor.

He will examine the eyes and assess the type and degree of inflammation to prescribe the appropriate treatment.

What are the causes of blepharitis?

Blepharitis can affect the outer part of the eyelid where the eyelashes are attached – this condition is called anterior blepharitis. However, if it affects the inner part of the eyelid that is in contact with the eye, then it is called posterior blepharitis.

Conditions that can cause blepharitis are:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis (flaky skin on the scalp and eyebrows)
  • Bacterial infection
  • Malfunction of the sebaceous glands in the eyelid
  • Eczema
  • Allergy
  • Infestation of eyelashes with lice
  • Rosacea or pink acne

How is blepharitis treated?

In most cases, regular washing of your eyelids, eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair can keep blepharitis under control. To wash your eyelids, do the following:

  • Put a few drops of baby shampoo in a glass of water and dip a cotton swab or small tissue in it. Close your eyes and gently wipe each eyelid 10 times. Make sure you clean your lashes too. Rinse well.
  • Or if you are taking a warm shower, let the warm water run over your closed eyes for a minute. Then put a few drops of the baby shampoo on a small cloth and apply it by rubbing the cloth gently on the eyelids and eyelashes. Rinse the shampoo out very carefully afterwards.
  • You can also place a warm, wet washcloth over your eyes. If your eyes are dry, an artificial tear preparation will also help.
  • Antibiotics may also be needed to treat some types of blepharitis. For example, if you have eye pain or severe swelling or redness, you will need to consult a doctor to prescribe treatment.
  • While treating your eyelids, it is better to you avoid wearing contact lenses and putting on makeup.

How to protect yourself from blepharitis?

You may experience blepharitis when the male secretions, produced by the small massage glands near the base of the eyelashes, accumulate around the eyes.

This creates the right conditions for bacterial growth and inflammation of the eyelashes, leading to blepharitis.

It is therefore essential to keep our eyes clean by washing them regularly with a gentle cleanser or special solution for this purpose.

Rubbing and scratching of the eyes should be avoided as this may worsen the condition.

When you touch your eyes with dirty hands, it is possible to transfer bacteria or viruses to the eye area, which can further irritate and worsen the eye condition.

Food plays an important role in eye health. Eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins can improve eye function and reduce the risk of inflammatory conditions.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are extremely beneficial for the eyes as they have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of blepharitis and dry eyes.

Also, foods high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, such as spinach, leeks and blueberries, have been linked to improved visual function and overall eye health.

As already mentioned, dry eyes can also cause blepharitis and discomfort around the eyes.

It is therefore a good idea to use artificial tear preparations, which will help to ensure good hydration of the surface of the eye and reduce dryness.

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