What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, causing them to appear swollen, red, or feel like they are sore or burning. You may also experience flakes or crusting at the base of your eyelashes as well. This condition is very common, especially among those who have rosacea, dandruff or oily skin.
Blepharitis occurs when tiny oil glands (meibomian glands) near the base of the eyelashes become clogged. This prevents the glands from keeping the eyes moist and healthy, which leads to dry eyes, red eyes, and ocular discomfort. Although generally not threatening to sight and not contagious, blepharitis can lead to eye infections and other serious conditions if left untreated.
What Causes Blepharitis?
There are many causes of blepharitis including:
- Poor eyelid hygiene
- Environmental stress
As we age, so do the glands that help lubricate the eyes. This can result in limited production and secretion of ocular lubricants, making the ocular surface dry, irritated, and swollen.
Poor lid hygiene can also lead to infection of the eyelids. Blepharitis can be associated with overgrowth of bacteria that live along the eyelid margins. If these bacteria multiply and create a biofilm, they can secrete exotoxins and cause inflammation of the glands, resulting in meibomian gland dysfunction.
Environmental stressors can also lead to eyelid inflammation. Living in very dry areas can lead to drier and easily irritated eyes. Patients should also avoid eye make-up and smoky atmospheres.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Swollen eyelids
- Red eyelids (erythema)
- Red eyes (hyperemia)
- Dry eyes
- Light Sensitivity
- Crusty eyelids (flaking of the skin around the eyelids)
- Cysts on the eyelids (chalazion)
- Discharge or mucus from the eyes • Abnormal eyelash growth
- Itchy eyelids
- Foreign body sensation
How can I control my symptoms at home?
There is no cure for this condition, unfortunately, but there are steps you can take to help you control your symptoms.
These steps include:
- Warm compresses
- Lid scrubs
Please contact our office at (408) 294-3534 for further instructions on how to manage your blepharitis at home.
Are there other treatments for Blepharitis?
At South Bay Retina, we use a radiofrequency laser to treat blepharitis. Using radiofrequency energy, the laser targets and stimulates clogged glands. As a result, the glands will begin producing natural oils again, which helps keep the eyes healthy and moist. This minimally invasive treatment is perfect for treating dry eyes, red eyes, and other ocular discomforts. Best of all, there is no surgery or downtime required. Learn more about radiofrequency laser treatment here.
Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms associated with blepharitis, contact South Bay Retina. Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist and retina specialist, and our offices have the technology to help you. Schedule at one of our two locations in the South Bay: San Jose and Gilroy. Call (408) 294-3534 to reach us by phone. You can also schedule an appointment online if you click the button below.