Wet a clean washcloth under the hot water faucet, then place it across both eyes for five minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
- Moisten a cotton-tipped swab (Q-tip) in a dilute solution of baby shampoo (a dilute solution can be created by placing a few drops of shampoo in jigger-size glass of warm water.)
- Pull the lower eyelid down, and look up.
- Rub the cotton-tipped swab gently over the lashes for approximately 30 seconds. Then pull the upper eyelid up, and look down. By drawing the eyelid away from the eye and looking in the opposite direction, it is less likely that the eye will be rubbed accidentally, which could cause discomfort. Eyelid scrubs can be performed while looking in the mirror.
- Repeat entire process with other eye.
- When finished, rinse the gently-closed eyelids with clear water.
- Patients who cannot do the eyelid scrubs themselves should ask a relative or a friend to do it. Do not rub the inside of the eyelids with the swabs. A warm soapy washcloth can also be used if cotton-tipped swabs cannot be handled easily. Close the eyelids without squeezing and rub the washcloth across them several times.
- Eyelid scrubs should be performed after using the warm compress at bedtime for 4 to 6 weeks.
- Eyelid hygiene should be performed daily for 4-6 weeks. After that, it may not be necessary every day, but because blepharitis is a chronic problem, it may be needed intermittently for several months or even indefinitely.
- It is important to realize that eyelid hygiene may not improve your symptoms for several weeks. Nevertheless, strict and regular attention to eyelid hygiene usually improves the symptoms of most patients.
In some cases Dr. Benjamin will ask you to instill antibiotic ointment into both eyes after the eyelid scrubs.
This is best done by drawing the lower eyelid down and looking up. A ribbon of antibiotic ointment is then squeezed into the pocket between the eyelid and eye itself. Then close and blink the eyelids. Because the antibiotic ointment will obscure vision, eyelid scrubs followed by antibiotic ointment are best performed at bedtime.