Blepharitis is a common inflammation of the eyelid caused by a chronic bacterial infection of the skin at the base of the eyelashes and lash glands. We all normally have bacteria on our skin and lids, but an excessive collection on the lids can cause blepharitis.
The main symptoms you may have with blepharitis are irritation, burning, and itching of the eyelid margins. Scales or ‘granulations’ can often be seen on the eyelashes, especially around the bases of the lashes. Sometimes the eyes become ‘red-rimmed’ from blepharitis. Vision is usually not affected.
IPL Treatments for Blepharitis
New studies have shown that intense pulse light treatment can improve the disease and symptoms of blepharitis. If you suffer from blepharitis, and relief of your symptoms have not been obtained through the use of artificial tears, lid hygiene, warm soaks, or antibiotic ointment, ask one of our doctors about our new IPL treatment. This procedure is not covered by your insurance.
What can happen if you don’t treat Blepharitis?
The most common complication of blepharitis is a painful style, or a chalazion (bump on the eyelid). Loss of eyelashes and inward growth of the lashes can occur.
If severe, the toxins spilling into the eye from blepharitis can cause ulceration, scarring, and painful inflammation of the front surface of the eye, Blepharitis can prevent successful contact lens.
A droopy eyelid can occur from birth, known as congenital ptosis, or it can develop later in life, known as acquired ptosis. Depending on the severity of the ptosis, the eyelid can block or greatly reduce vision depending on how much it obstructs the pupil.
When children have droopy lids, amblyopia or permanent loss of vision can occur because they are still in the developmental stage of vision. These children need to be followed by a Pediatric Ophthalmologist for potential treatment to assure that their vision develops normally.
There are many causes of droopy eyelids
- Mechanical causes – trauma, lid swelling
- Natural causes – gravity and aging degrade the tissues of the lid and cause droopiness
- Neurological causes – affect the nerves or muscles of the lids including stroke, brain tumor, cancer, or myasthenia gravis
Our doctors will examine the droopy eyelid to make sure there are no underlying conditions.
The treatment for droopy eyelids depends on the specific cause and the severity of the ptosis. If they eyelid blocks your vision and there is no underlying medical disorder, surgical correction by Dr. Lavrich can be performed to lift the lid.
Chalazion and Stye
Styes (also called hordeolum) and chalazion are common problems that occur from blepharitis. They are red, painful lumps that grow from the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid and occur from the bacteria blocking the glands of the eyelid. A stye appears at the top of the gland and a chalazion is deeper in the gland.
While blepharitis is usually hard to ever completely cure, with regular, diligent care, your blepharitis can be very well controlled. Our doctors may use a regimen of lid scrubs and warm soak to clean the lids, as well as an antibiotic ointment to decrease the bacteria. In severe cases, an oral antibiotic may be needed to clear the bacteria from the eyelids and glands.