Blepharitis is a chronic condition which causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is more common in people who have a fair complexion and is often caused by staphylococcal aureus bacteria which naturally inhabit everyones eyelids. When the numbers of bacteria get too high blepharitis is the result.
Blepharitis can cause:
1. Sore, red and often crusty eyelids.
2. An associated dry eye
3. The eyelashes can often fall out
4. Sore, gritty eyes
5. Increased risk of recurrent infective conjunctivitis
6. Increased risk of recurrent lid cysts.
There are many different schools of thought on treatment. We feel the most effective treatment is to clean the eyelids night and morning with sterile saline. Over a period of a few months this reduces the number of bacteria and controls the condition however a maintenance regime of at least once a day cleaning of the lids with sterile saline is required after improvement in the condition has occurred.
First wash your hands.
Spray the saline onto a ball of cotton wool until it is saturated.
Clean the eyelids by wiping from nose to temple for about 20 seconds with the eyelid shut.
Repeat the procedure for the other eye with a fresh piece of cotton wool.
The easiest way to obtain the sterile saline is to purchase sterile, unpreserved, aerosol saline used for rinsing contact lenses from an opticians or chemist. An example of which is Oxycept saline by AMO.
If the blepharitis is severe and this treatment does not work, it is necessary to contact an eye specialist who may prescribe systemic antibiotics. However in most cases the above treatment is very successful as long as you persist with it.