If you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms, you may be suffering from blepharitis:
- Itching or scratchy eyes
- Foreign body sensation
- Dry eyes
- Eye rubbing
Blepharitis can only be diagnosed by your eye doctor. Make sure to let your doctor know of your eye symptoms and inquire about BlephEx®, the latest in eyecare technology for prevention of lid disease.
There are several conditions which may affect the severity of blepharitis such as dry eye disease, allergies, seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, age, contact lens wear, poor immune status, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogrens disease, and androgen deficiency.
If left untreated, blepharitis can lead directly or indirectly, to a number of eyelid diseases, such as:
Contact Lens Intolerance - Contact lens wearers are more prone to developing biofilms and subsequent blepharitis/dry eye. Bacteria can adhere more easily to a contact lens than to human tissue, allowing them to increase their numbers earlier in life. This increase in bacteria lead to early formation of biofilms, exotoxins and inflammation which sensitizes these eyes to reject the contact lens. Treatment every 6 months can help prevent this from occurring.
Dry Eye Syndrome - Due to inflammatory down regulation of tears glands in the eyelids, and swelling with subsequent occlusion of tear excretory ducts. Treated with numerous artificial tears, cyclosporine drops, punctal plugs, night-time moisture chamber googles, bedtime lubricating ointments
Chalazions (styes) - Occlusion of Meibomian excretory ducts causing painful swelling of Meibomian gland with leakage of highly inflammatory oil components into surrounding tissue. Treated with hot compresses, lid scrubs, surgery
Cicatricial Ectropion - outward turning of the lower eyelid due to chronic lid inflammation and scarring down of the structural support tissue of the eyelid. Results in severe dry eye syndrome, corneal scarring and vision loss. Treated by artificial tears, ointments, hyaluronic acid injection and surgery. May necessitate a corneal transplant if scarring of the cornea becomes severe.
Involutional Ectropian - outward turning of the lower eyelid due to laxity and sagging of the lower lid caused by chronic inflammation and weakening of the eyelid support tissue. Treated by artificial tears, ointments and surgery.
Cicatricial Entropion - inward turning of the lower eyelid due to chronic lid inflammation and scarring down of the structural support tissue of the eyelid. Results in chronic irritation of the eye, corneal ulceration and scarring, and vision loss. Treated by surgery. May necessitate a corneal transplant if scarring of the cornea becomes severe.
Involutional Entropian - inward eversion of the lower eyelid due to laxity and sagging of the lower lid caused by chronic inflammation and weakening of the eyelid support tissue. Treated surgery. May necessitate a corneal transplant if scarring of the cornea becomes severe.
Acquired Distichiasis - an extra row of lashes that grow from Meibomian glands that have undergone aberrant differentiation to hair follicles due to chronic inflammation. Their close proximity to the cornea results in irritation, abrasion and sometimes scarring of the cornea. Treatment is epilation of the lashes, either mechanical or using electrolysis.
Trichiasis - an inward turning of the lashes so that they abrade the corneal surface causing irritation, tearing, poor vision and occasionally corneal scarring. Caused by acute and chronic inflammation of the lid margin which disrupts the normal intra-lid anatomy surrounding the lash follicles. Treatment is epilation of the lashes, either mechanical or using electrolysis.