Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids that can lead to irritated and red eyes. However, it is not contagious and usually does not cause permanent damage to your eyesight. At Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists, with offices in Eustis, Clermont, and Leesburg, FL, we can assess your symptoms and determine the underlying cause of your blepharitis. Drs. Jeffrey A. Sheridan and Craig D. Fishman can recommend a treatment to alleviate your symptoms, such as warm compresses, eyelid scrubs, or an in-office eyelid cleaning.
Common Symptoms of Eyelid Inflammation
Blepharitis can result in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Red eyes
- Itchy eyelids
- A gritty or burning sensation in the eyes
- Watery eyes
- Eyelids that stick together
- Crusted eyelashes when waking
- Greasy-looking eyelids
- Flaking skin around the eyes
- Frequent blinking
- Red or swollen eyelids
- Light sensitivity
- Madarosis (loss of eyelashes)
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience some or all of these symptoms. Blepharitis can cause intermittent or constant discomfort and is often associated with dry eyes. This condition can also cause styes to form, or injure the cornea when left untreated.
What Causes Blepharitis?
Inflammation of the eyelid is a common and treatable condition. There are several conditions that can cause blepharitis, including:
- Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
- Fungal eyelid infection
- Bacterial eyelid infection
- Eyelash mites or lice
- Clogged oil glands
- Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows)
Sometimes dry eyes can cause irritation of the eyelids or vice versa. Eyelid inflammation is commonly associated with other skin conditions, such as ocular rosacea and psoriasis.
Treating Eyelid Inflammation
For mild cases of blepharitis, Dr. Fishman or Sheridan may recommend a home care routine with warm compresses and eye scrubs. If your condition does not respond to these treatments, there are a range of medications that can improve the symptoms of blepharitis, such as:
- Topical antibiotics
- Steroid eye drops
- Oral antibiotics
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Steroid ointments
If the inflammation is caused by an underlying disease, such as dermatitis or rosacea, treatment for that condition can improve your blepharitis.
Prevention and Hygiene
Blepharitis is a chronic condition, but keeping your eyelids clean can help prevent painful inflammation from returning. When your condition is under control, clean your eyelids one or twice a day.
First, wash your hands and then dampen a clean washcloth with warm water to make a compress. Close your eyes and apply the compress for a couple of minutes. Before opening your eyes, gently wipe the edge of your eyelid without pressing too hard against your eye.
Our team can develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and restore the health of your eyelids.
Our team can explain the best eyelid hygiene routines for you based on the cause of your blepharitis. We may recommend certain eyelid cleansing products to use between flare-ups. Limiting your use of eye makeup can also help maintain the health of your eyelids.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are suffering from red, itchy, irritated eyes, you may have blepharitis. Our team can develop a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and restore the health of your eyelids. Contact our practice online or call our office nearest you today to find out more about our services.