Blepharitis is a chronic infection of the eyelids. It often recurs and needs repeated treatment. Blepharitis is caused by inflammation of the eyelid margin, the edge of the eye from which your eyelashes grow. Debris and protein build-up at the base of eyelashes are called “collarettes” in blepharitis.
Causes of Blepharitis
There are many factors that contribute to blepharitis. The most common factors are poor eyelid hygiene, blocked glands in the eyelids, excess oil produced by the glands in the eyelid, a bacterial infection (often staphylococcal) or an allergic reaction.
Treatments for Blepharitis
Careful, daily cleaning of the eyelashes can usually control blepharitis. This can be accomplished by moistening a clean washcloth with tap water as warm as you can stand without burning. Hold the washcloth against the eyelids until it cools, then re-warm and repeat for five to ten minutes. We recommend using a clock to follow the time. After soaking, each eyelid should be gently scrubbed for one minute.
The doctors at Eye Surgical Associates can prescribe antibiotics if necessary. Blepharitis, if left untreated, can lead to severe infections. Always consult an eye care practitioner before beginning any treatment on your eyes.
The most important aspect with any infection is prevention. Wash your hands frequently, especially when you have a cold or are around someone who does. Never try to diagnose or treat yourself. A red eye can indicate many serious eye problems, which could lead to loss of sight if left untreated.