Blepharitis

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. This condition is commonly caused when oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, preventing the glands from excreting oil properly. This allows for an ideal environment for bacterial growth, which can cause an infection.

 

Common symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Excessive tearing

  • Red eyes

  • A gritty or stinging sensation in the eyes

  • Dandruff and crusting around the eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Itchy eyelids

Treatment

Our ophthalmologists will treat patients according to the type of blepharitis and the severity of the condition. The first step is to always keep the lids clean and to follow an at-home routine to clean the eyelids daily using water, baby shampoo, lid scrubs, and warm compresses. (Read below for detailed directions.)

Antibiotics may be prescribed if the case is a bacterial infection. 

Blepharitis can reoccur, therefore it is important to continue these lid hygiene pointers:

  • Limit or stop eye makeup use if your eyelids are inflamed

  • Temporarily avoid wearing contacts if your eyelids are inflamed

  • Use warm compresses twice a day on the eyes to help release clogged oil onto your tear film

  • Use artificial tears or ointments if prescribed 

  • Add more Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with foods such as salmon and walnuts

How to Wash Your Eyelids

  1. Wash your hands

  2. Mix baby shampoo and warm water

  3. Take a clean cloth and dip it in the solution and run it across your closed eyelid and eyelash area

  4. Rinse with water

  5. Repeat on the other eye 

LipiFlow

Lipiflow is an in-office treatment that uses single-use devices inserted in between the eyelid and the cornea itself to deliver heat and massaging pulses to remove blockages from the meibomian glands, allowing them to properly secrete oils onto the tear film. The heat and pulses are controlled in a manner that make this treatment very safe and comfortable. The heat and pulses only make contact with the inner and outer portions of the eyelid, avoiding the cornea. The treatment is 12 minutes long and only requires numbing drops to minimize any discomfort the patient may feel. The treatment allows the glands to properly excrete oils onto the outer layer of the tear film and the results are experienced 6-8 weeks after treatment, which is when you will have a follow-up with your ophthalmologists. Our ophthalmologists will be able to do a diagnostic test in-office, called LipiScan, to evaluate the structure of your meibomian glands to check for any tissue loss. 

Watch the following video for an animated demonstration of how LipiFlow works: 

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