There are many different medical conditions that can affect the eyes and some of them are serious. Having an eye condition can lead to serious consequences such as a loss of vision if it is not treated properly. One of the many different conditions of the eye includes blepharitis which is a very rare medical condition.
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid and is usually centers around where the eyelashes grow. Someone with blepharitis will have an inflamed and irritated eyelid that will appear red and itchy. Blepharitis is an uncomfortable condition and it will often look unattractive and have a very red appearance. It will usually not cause any permanent damage to the eyesight if medical treatment is used. If you have blepharitis then you will probably experience a lot of different symptoms associated with the condition.
There are many symptoms of blepharitis and they all involve the eye or somewhere around the eye. Some of the symptoms include watery eye, itchy eyelid, burning of the eye and loss of eyelashes. You might also experience sensitivity to light, abnormally-grown eyelashes, and crusted eyelashes when you wake up. The symptoms of blepharitis could also be indicative of many other diseases and conditions of the eye.
Blepharitis is a chronic medical condition which means long-term care probably will be needed. Sometimes blepharitis can be cured if you know what the underlying medical condition is that causes blepharitis. Some causes of blepharitis include bacterial infections, allergies, rosacea, eyelash mites or seborrheic dermatitis. The most common cause of blepharitis is a malfunction of an oil gland near the base of your eyelid and it is not curable. If you want to find out if you have blepharitis then there are some easy tests that a doctor can do to confirm it.
An examination of your eyelids and your eyes by a doctor can help diagnose blepharitis pretty easily. The examination of your eyes might require the doctor to use special magnifying glasses to get a better look at the surrounding area. Your doctor also might want to swab the oil that forms on your eyelid for a diagnosis. The swab sample can be tested for many different things such as allergies, bacteria and fungi and it can rule out more obvious problems. If the doctor confirms the diagnosis then you can move onto a treatment for blepharitis but it will not cure it completely.
Treatment for blepharitis will usually not work completely because the condition will most likely come back. Some common treatments for blepharitis include artificial tears, antibiotics, steroid eye drops or ointment, and regular cleaning of the affected area. Artificial tears will most likely be used to treat the dry eye you might get due to the blepharitis affecting your eyelid. Antibiotics will usually be in the form of eye drops that will need to be used on the eyelid. The antibiotics could cure blepharitis if it is caused by bacteria. Steroid eye drops or ointments can help control the inflammation of the eyelid and the eye. Cleaning the affected area such as your eyelid and eye will also help relieve symptoms. Cleaning your eye or eyelid actually is the best course of action for someone with blepharitis to control the medical condition regularly. Treating the underlying medical condition might also help relieve blepharitis and make it disappear almost completely. Usually if the blepharitis is caused by rosacea or another condition, once treatment begins for the underlying cause then it will go away. You will also need to make changes in your lifestyle to better manage blepharitis and the symptoms associated with it.
If the blepharitis was caused by sebaceous dermatitis then you will probably need to buy dandruff shampoo to help minimize the blepharitis outbreak. Using shampoo and conditioner that is for dandruff-control can help relieve the symptoms and lessen reoccurrence. A regular eye care routine is also needed long-term if you have been diagnosed with blepharitis to help control the symptoms. You should clean the eye everyday at least once or twice to get the most benefits from the eye care. You want to apply a warm towel or rag over your eye for about five minutes to help loosen the deposits near your eyelid. You should then use a washcloth with baby shampoo to help wash the debris and deposits from your eye and eyelid. The edge of your eye is the most important area to wash because this is where the debris and crusty materials will collect. After that you can then rinse the eyelid and surrounding area with warm water and then use a clean towel to dry the area. Even if your symptoms decrease you should use a regular eye care routine so that the symptoms do not reappear. Even with treatment there is a chance you could have long-lasting complications from blepharitis that could really interfere with your life.
If you have blepharitis you might experience many different eyelash problems such as a loss of eyelashes or abnormally-grown eyelashes. Scarring might also be visible on your eyelid due to the chronic appearance of the blepharitis. Chronic pink eye is also common and a sty might also appear on the edge or inside area of the eyelid. When you get a sty you will notice it around the eyelid and it is a painful lump that might look like a pimple. Excess tearing or dry eye is also a common long-term complication from blepharitis and it can be very annoying. Your eyes will not get the needed amount of lubrication due to the debris and oil that secrete from the eyelid. The eye will either become very dry and red or it will begin to tear excessively. The constant irritation from the blepharitis might also cause injury to your cornea. The inflamed eyelid might cause a sore to develop on the cornea which will lead to a red and irritated appearance. You could also become prone to corneal infections from the blepharitis which would need treatment.
Someone with blepharitis will have a fairly normal life but will always have to care for the condition since it is chronic. There are no life-threatening complications from blepharitis as long as you seek treatment for the condition in a timely manner. Many conditions of the eye can lead to blindness but blepharitis will just blur the vision at the most. This medical condition is very rare but it can happen to men or women and can happen in people of any race. With treatment and a long-term eye care routine you can expect to live a normal life with just minor inconveniences.
Mayo Clinic Staff, “Blepharitis”, Mayo Clinic