What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a very common eye condition where the eyelids become sore and inflamed. It can affect one eye, but usually occurs in both. When the tiny ducts in the eyelids become blocked, this can lead to inflammation, which makes your eyelids sore, causing irritation and discomfort. It can be a persistent and reoccurring problem but it is not a serious condition and will not cause any long-term damage.

Some people may be more likely to suffer from Blepharitis than others:

• People with dry skin
• People with asthma and allergies

It can also be a side effect of other eye infections.

How do I know if I have a problem?

The main indication that you have Blepharitis will be discomfort. Symptoms can include:

• Your eyes feel gritty, as if there is something in the eye
• The edges of your eyelids feel itchy and sore
• Opening your eyes in the morning is uncomfortable

What treatment is available?

There is no specific treatment for Blepharitis, but there are things you can do yourself to ease the problem and help avoid re-occurrences.

• Regularly bathing your eyes to keep them clean and free from germs as well as removing any deposits painlessly will help with symptoms. Using a specialist cleaning system like ‘Lid-care’, a sterile wipe specifically designed for cleaning the eyelids effectively, is the ideal way to bathe your eyes. Alternatively, a solution of one teaspoon of baby shampoo diluted with a pint of water can be used. You can also use a warmed face cloth to remove any scales or deposits by placing it over your eyes for a few minutes

• It is advisable not to use eye make-up when you are suffering from Blepharitis as it can cause cross contamination and the problem can reoccur

• If the condition leads to or is caused by an eye infection, this can be treated with antibiotics. Your Doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment for you

There are also some measures you can take to help prevent Blepharitis developing. Treating any allergies effectively will help to lessen the chance of the condition developing. Using eye make-up specifically for sensitive eyes and removing it thoroughly at the end of the day will also help.

How do I get help?

If you are worried you may have Blepharitis you should visit your Optometrist or Doctor at the earliest opportunity.