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October 2, 2014

Do You Have Blepharitis?

Every chronic eye condition has different levels of treatment and symptoms associated with it. One common condition is blepharitis, an inflammation that affects your eyelids where your eyelashes grow. This inflammation is generally associated with a bacterial infection that affects the glands on your eye lids. Although this condition is difficult to treat and is currently incurable, there are still some eye care methods you can use to decrease the amount of discomfort caused by blepharitis.

Some of the annoying side effects can be red, itchy eyelids and the discomfort of feeling like something is in your eye. Along with these symptoms, blepharitis is the most common culprit for dry eyes.

In many cases, dry eyes is a result of your daily routine, for example, dry eyes can occur when staring at a computer all day, and you aren’t blinking as regularly as one should due to being focused for extended periods of time. However, with blepharitis dry eyes occur for a different reason. It is the result of a blockage in the tiny oil glands in your eyelids that help lubricate your eyes. When the oils from these glands aren’t released, they cause an imbalance in the tear system.

As stated above, blepharitis is difficult to treat, but there are some ways you can reduce the above symptoms. The blockage in your eyelids is generally due to bacteria. The best way to get rid of bacteria is to clean the surface where the bacteria is. With your eyes, this can be done a few ways.

First, get a warm wash cloth and place it over your closed eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, and moisten the towel if it cools off too much. The goal is to loosen any crust or oily debris that is formed from the blocked oil glands. Next, repeat this process, but add a tiny bit of soap. Dilute the soap first and then place it on the towel. Then, with your index finger, gently rub your eyelids in a horizontal motion along the eyelids. Then, wash off your face and pat it dry. This is the most common and cost effective way for fast relief, but there is currently no cure.

Another common technique that can provide longer term solution is called Lipiflow. This process is essentially an eyelid massage that applies comfortable heat with gentle pulsating pressure to “milk out” the liquefied blockages of the affected glands. This treatment costs about $1,400, or $700 per eye. Seventy-nine percent of patients have seen a 10-100% improvement. This variance occurs depending on the severity of the blockage.

If you are experiencing symptoms of blepharitis and would like to see one of our eye care specialists please contact us at 877-871-1684 to schedule an appointment.

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