Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids. It causes sore, red eyelids and crusty debris at the base of the eyelashes due to clogged oil glands in the area. A chronic condition, it's challenging to treat – but not impossible.
As a chronic condition, there is no cure for blepharitis. As such, treatment involves managing the condition and alleviating some of the symptoms. The most common treatment options Dr. Benjamin recommends to his patients include:
Hot compresses can be very effective in offering relief from blepharitis symptoms. Simply run a washcloth under hot water and hold it over your eyes for about five minutes, two to three times daily.
After applying your hot compress, moisten a Q-tip in a solution of a few drops of baby shampoo mixed with a large glass of warm water. Pull down on the lower eyelid and look up, before rubbing the Q-tip over the lashes for approximately 30 seconds. Repeat with your upper eyelids, but look down. Looking away from the lashes during this process will lessen the likelihood that you accidentally rub your eye. Once the scrub is complete, rinse your eyelids with clear water. Repeat this process at bedtime every four to six weeks.
In some cases, Dr. Benjamin will recommend applying antibiotic ointment to both eyes after your scrubs. Blurred vision may occur when applying these ointments, so it's best to use them at night.
If you have a severe case of blepharitis, Dr. Benjamin may recommend oral antibiotics to manage the condition.
It is possible to prevent blepharitis by practicing proper eyelid hygiene. This includes keeping your eyelids clean, removing eye makeup at bedtime and avoiding applying eyeliner along the inside of your eyelids. If you already have blepharitis and are attempting to treat it, we recommend avoiding eye makeup altogether until you've gotten the condition under control.