Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the eyelids and is one of the most common disorders of the eye.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Oils and other secretions build up on the eyelid surface and eyelashes, resulting in:
- Flaking or crusting of the eyelids
- Sandy, gritty sensation
Treatment for Blepharitis
Although blepharitis is a chronic problem, applying warm compresses and lid scrubs can help control it. In some cases, it may be necessary to prescribe an antibiotic ointment.
- Warm compresses: Soak a clean washcloth in very warm water, squeeze out the excess water and then press it against your closed eyelids for approximately five minutes. You may need to rewarm the cloth several times. This will help to soften and loosen the debris on the eyelids.
- Lid scrubs: Following the warm compresses, pull your eyelid away from your eye and gently clean the eyelid margin (at the base of your lashes) with the edge of the washcloth using a side-to-side motion. You may use a solution with a small amount of baby shampoo mixed with an equal amount of water to cleanse your eyelids or a pre-packaged eyelid scrub solution.
The above treatment should be repeated two to four times daily for the first two or three weeks. As your symptoms improve, you can decrease the frequency as necessary to maintain your comfort level. Remember this is a chronic condition and stopping treatment altogether may result in a recurrence of symptoms.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva. Many refer to it as “pink” eye. A thin membrane called the conjunctiva covers the white part of the eye. The conjunctiva has fine blood vessels, but when it becomes irritated or inflamed, the blood vessels enlarge and become more prominent and the eye turns red.
Common Causes & Symptoms of Pink Eye
- Bacterial infections
- Environmental Irritants
Infectious conjunctivitis can be caused by a bacteria or virus. Bacterial infections, such as staphylococcus or streptococcus, cause a red eye that is associated with considerable amounts of discharge. Some bacterial infections are more chronic and may produce little or no discharge except for mild crusting of the eyelashes in the morning.
Viruses are also common causes of conjunctivitis. Some viruses produce the familiar red eyes, sore throat and runny nose of a common cold. Others may infect only one eye. Viral conjunctivitis usually produces a watery discharge and lasts from one to two weeks. Infectious conjunctivitis, whether bacterial or viral, can be very contagious. Frequent hand washing is recommended to help to prevent spread of the infection. It is important to see your eye care professional to determine if medication is necessary to treat your conjunctivitis.
Some allergies, like hay fever, may produce a chronic redness and itching. Any type of conjunctivitis is aggravated by dryness of the eyes or environmental irritants, such as smoke.
Relief for Viral Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
- Warm or cool compresses: Use warm or cool water, depending on which gives you the most comfort. Soak a clean washcloth in warm or cool water, squeeze out the excess water and then gently press it against your closed eyelids for approximately five minutes.
- Artificial Tears: Use one drop up to four times per day for comfort.
- Time: It typically takes 10 – 14 days for a virus to run its course and clear up.
If you are experiencing any type of eye inflammation, contact us today to schedule a medical eye exam to make sure you do not have a serious problem.