What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids. It can also cause the formation of dandruff-like scales on eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either bacterial or a skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp or acne rosacea. It affects people of all ages. Although uncomfortable, blepharitis is not contagious and generally does not cause any permanent damage to eyesight.
Types of Blepharitis
- Anterior blepharitis occurs at the outside front edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes are attached.
- Posterior blepharitis affects the inner edge of the eyelid that comes in contact with the eyeball.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Individuals with blepharitis may experience a gritty or burning sensation in their eyes, excessive tearing, itching, red and swollen eyelids, dry eyes, or crusting of the eyelids. For some people, blepharitis causes only minor irritation and itching. However, it can lead to more severe signs and symptoms such as blurring of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of the cornea.
In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine can control blepharitis. This includes frequent scalp and face washing, using warm compresses to soak the eyelids, and doing eyelid scrubs. In cases where a bacterial infection is the cause, various antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed along with eyelid hygiene.
How is blepharitis treated?
Treatment depends on the type of blepharitis. The key to treating most types of blepharitis is keeping the lids clean and free of crusts. Limiting or stopping the use of eye makeup when treating blepharitis is often recommended, as its use will make lid hygiene more difficult.
- Warm compresses can be applied to loosen the crusts, followed by gentle scrubbing of the eyes with a mixture of water and baby shampoo or an over-the-counter lid cleansing product. In cases involving bacterial infection, an antibiotic may also be prescribed.
- If the glands in the eyelids are blocked, the eyelids may need to be massaged to clean out oil accumulated in the eyelid glands.
- Artificial tear solutions or lubricating ointments may be prescribed in some cases.
- Use of an anti-dandruff shampoo on the scalp can help.
- If you wear contact lenses, you may have to temporarily discontinue wearing them during treatment.
Dr. Schnipper at Jacksonville Eye Center is pleased to offer advanced technology in the treatment of blepharitis! Introducing BlephEx!
How BlephEx® Works
BlephexBlephEx® is a painless in-office procedure performed at Jacksonville Eye Cente. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx® handpiece is used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.The patented micro-sponge is disposable and a clean one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria is not spread between the lids.The eyes are rinsed well afterwards.
The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.
Some cases of blepharitis may require more complex treatment plans. Blepharitis seldom disappears completely. Even with successful treatment, relapses may occur.
Schedule a Consultation
For more information about Blepharitis and treatment options, contact Jacksonville Eye Center. Call our office today at 904-355-5555 to schedule a consultation.