Blepharitis is a very common eyelid condition that results in burning, itching, redness, tearing, and irritation of the lids and eyes. Blepharitis is also a cause of uncomfortable dry eyes and a foreign body sensation. It is associated with an excess of bacteria that accumulate at the base of the eyelashes and cause these symptoms. People with certain skin conditions such as acne rosacea tend to be more likely to develop blepharitis.
Blepharitis has two basic forms: Anterior Blepharitis and Posterior Blepharitis. It’s not uncommon to have both anterior and posterior forms of blepharitis at the same time, but in different degrees of severity. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid where eyelashes are attached. Bacteria cause the lids to become red, itchy, and irritated.
In the case of posterior blepharitis, bacteria lead to dysfunction of meibomian glands within the lids. Meibomian glands normally secrete oils that help lubricate your eyes, so posterior blepharitis can cause very dry eyes.
Treatment for Blepharitis
If Dr. Alden diagnoses you with chronic blepharitis, she will likely recommend an ongoing regimen of eyelid hygiene that can include commercially developed, over-the-counter lid scrubs or other cleansing agents.
Research has shown that in many cases of posterior blepharitis, omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help your meibomian glands function better and provide essential lubrication for eye comfort. Warm compresses and lid massage can also be helpful to encourage normal secretion from your meibomian glands.
Besides a program of eyelid hygiene, if you have severe blepharitis and related symptoms, you may require treatment with topical and oral antibiotics.
Is There a Cure for Blepharitis?
A complete blepharitis cure may not exist. But as explained above, good eyelid hygiene and prescription medicine are often effective in managing blepharitis, while warm compresses and lid massages can help unclog obstructed meibomian glands.
Be sure to ask Dr. Alden about blepharitis if your eyelids are red, itchy or irritated. We’ll create a custom treatment plan to give you long-lasting relief. Call Frontier Eye Care at (307) 472-2020 to make an appointment.