What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It may be associated with some skin conditions such as very dry or oil skin, dry scalp or dandruff. It results in a build-up of oils, scales or crusts forming around the base of the eyelashes, which can cause redness and irritation.
Why does it happen?
The exact cause is not known. It tends to “flare up” and then ease off in severity. If you have blepharitis, you are likely to always have a tendency to have it. It may be associated with skin conditions such as acne rosacea, dermatitis or eczema.
Is it harmful?
Not usually, however, if left untreated, conjunctivitis, styles or meibomiam cysts may occur.
Can it be cured?
No, it is a chronic condition that can recur. To prevent recurrence of the symptoms, it is necessary to follow the treatment advised by your Optician or GP.
What is used to treat it?
A lid hygiene routine using lid wipes or baby shampoo to reduce the symptoms and make your eyes more comfortable, you may also be prescribed an antibiotic eye ointment.
How often is the treatment to be used?
You should carry out lid hygiene every morning and evening after washing your face. Continue to do this for at least 6 weeks. We recommend continuing with lid hygiene at least twice a week indefinitely to help prevent recurrence.
Why use lid wipes/baby shampoo?
The wipes contain a “soapy” solution that is very mild, as is the shampoo – neither should sting your eyes. A soapy solution is needed to break down any oily secretions and remove the crusting formed around the root of the eyelashes.
To obtain the best results, please follow the instructions below.
Before you start, please wash your face and hands, paying particular attention to your fingernails.
Take a clean face cloth and moisten with hot water (as hot as you can handle safely). Wring out cloth and hold over your eyes allowing the steam to soothe and soften any debris on your lids. You may need to repeat a couple of times.
After applying the moist heat, massage the lids by using your index finger and firmly massage the upper lid downwards towards the lashes. Repeat on the lower lid massaging upwards towards the lashes. Do this for about half a minute on each eyelid.
First remove a lid wipe from the box and when ready remove the wipes from its packet. Rub the wipe between your fingers (this creates a foam), and wrap the wipe around your finger. Gently close one eye and wipe across both lids of this eye, from the inside corner to the outside. Open the eye and look upwards, gently clean the lower lid along the lid margin at the root of the eyelashes, then look downwards and repeat for the top lid. Wash hands and repeat the whole process for the opposite eye.
As an alternative to using Lid Wipes, mix approximately half a teaspoon of baby shampoo into a small cup and half fill with previously boiled, cooled water. Use a cotton bud dipped in the solution, shake to remove any excess fluid, and gently clean the lid margins at the root of the eye lashes on both top and bottom eyelids, from the inside corner to the outside. Avoid the shampoo solution going into the eye. Keep a separate cup for this use only. Wash hands and repeat the process for the opposite eye.
Place a small amount of the ointment on the tip of the finger and rub into both lid margins and lashes.
We expect the symptoms of redness and irritation to improve within 2-6 weeks of commencing treatment. We recommend continuing with lid hygiene at least twice a week to prevent recurrence.
If you have been listed for cataract surgery, it is important to have the blepharitis cleared before surgery to prevent any risk of infection.
It is important to wash you face and hands before applying your ointment. You must also wash your hands between treating each eye to reduce the risk of cross infection.
You must use a fresh lid wipe/solution of baby shampoo for each eye.
Until the symptoms of irritation and redness have improved, it is not advisable to wear eye makeup. Keep face cloths/ towels and eye make-up separate from those used by other people.
It is advisable to use an appropriate shampoo for your hair if you have dry scalp/dandruff