Blepharitis is a common condition where your eyes become inflamed, leading to soreness and crusting at the base of your eyelashes. This may be incredibly uncomfortable and cause swelling. It is very rare but some people suffering with blepharitis also experience blurry vision.
The condition is most common amongst people who suffer with eczema or acne, as well as allergic diseases such as asthma. If you are exposed to chemical fumes, smoky environments or if you use cosmetics, this may well aggravate the condition.
What causes blepharitis?
Blepharitis is often caused by the oil glands at the base of your eyelashes becoming clogged. Blepharitis can also be brought on by too much bacteria on your eye lids and between your eyelashes, leading to an infection.
Blepharitis can also lead to other eye-related issues such as cysts, recurring conjunctivitis and dry eyes, so it’s important to treat blepharitis as soon as possible.
How serious is blepharitis?
While blepharitis itself isn’t a serious or sight-threatening condition, it can be very uncomfortable and cause mildly blurred vision. The fact that it can lead to other eye issues like cysts and conjunctivitis means that you shouldn’t ignore your blepharitis symptoms and should seek treatment if you find yourself suffering at all.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
If you’re experiencing discomfort around your eyes and you’re unsure if the symptoms are an indication of blepharitis, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the following signs of the condition:
- Itchy eyes
- Gritty feeling in the eyes
- Soreness around the eyelids
- Redness in or around the eyes
- Eyelids sticking together after sleep
- Crusting at the base of the eyelashes
Although some of these symptoms can be associated with other eye conditions, experiencing a combination of these symptoms may suggest blepharitis. It is important to have your eyes checked by an expert if you are worried about your eye health or vision at all.
What treatments are there for blepharitis?
This condition is easily assessable by an optometrist, who will recommend a suitable course of treatment. Like with dry eye treatment, the optometrist will recommend a lifestyle change and a course of gel supplements.
In your blepharitis treatment, you will receive the following:
- Your comprehensive consultation and eye exam
- Thorough assessment of blepharitis condition
- A thorough treatment plan to manage the condition
- Check-up appointments
How long does blepharitis take to clear up?
Blepharitis is a long term condition and it will take a while for your eyes to return to normal, depending on how severely affected your eyes are. Our staff will do everything to ensure that this is managed correctly. Some patients find that their condition clears up within a couple of weeks of treatment, while others are required to continue their treatment for several months before seeing an improvement.
What happens if blepharitis is left untreated?
If left untreated, many of the blepharitis symptoms we mentioned previously will persist and worsen over time. You may experience a worse case of dry eyes if your blepharitis is left untreated, as well as more chalazia (hard, sore bumps along the edge of your eyelid). You might even start to suffer from corneal ulcers as a result of worsening blepharitis, which can affect your vision and cause severe discomfort.
Can blepharitis be caused by stress?
Blepharitis can indeed be triggered by stress. Stress affects many other parts and functions of your body, and your eyes are no different. Keeping yourself healthy with a good diet and sleep schedule is known to help reduce your anxiety, in turn contributing to minimising its effects on your stress-induced blepharitis.
Is blepharitis caused by poor hygiene?
No, blepharitis is not caused by poor hygiene. While it may help your symptoms somewhat to regularly clean the area around your eyes (paying particular attention to your eyelashes), it’s important to know blepharitis doesn’t occur as a result of bad hygiene. It is usually triggered by an allergic reaction or block oil glands.
Can blepharitis be caused by mascara?
Blepharitis is often caused an allergic reaction to a particular product, whether that’s a face wash, perfume fumes or mascara. If you’re allergic to any ingredients in your eye makeup, it’s possible that it can trigger blepharitis. This cycle is continued and made even worse if you’re not washing your eye makeup off thoroughly before going to sleep each night.
If you’re suffering with blepharitis, you should stop using your makeup until your symptoms disappear, as it will make maintaining good eye hygiene more difficult. Keep your eyelids clean and free of crust. Some people even recommend using dandruff shampoo to help with any dry skin caused by the condition.
How can I safely clean my eyes while suffering with blepharitis?
Keeping your eyes clean is crucial in managing your blepharitis symptoms. Use a warm compress of a flannel or cotton wool to gently soak your eyes with. You can also massage your eyelids softly to encourage natural lubrication and help to unclog the oil glands somewhat.
If you’re suffering with severe crusting as a result of your blepharitis, you can use a cotton bud or cotton wool to gently clean along the base of your eyelashes where they meet the edge of your eyelid. This area is likely to be the sorest part of the eye, so pay special attention when cleaning it.
How much does blepharitis treatment cost?
Book in for your consultation or call us on 0800 988 6390 to speak to one of our customer advisers and receive further information on our blepharitis treatment programme.