Do you ever wake up with red, itchy eyes? If it just happens once or twice a year, you’re probably fine. But if you’ve noticed it happening frequently, you might have blepharitis. But what causes blepharitis, and what can you do about it?
What Causes Blepharitis?
Odds are you’ve experienced eye crud and red, itchy eyelids at least once in your lifetime. If you have, you know they’re not fun to deal with. They’re unsightly, uncomfortable, and annoying. There are lots of reasons an eye can be irritated, so finding the cause isn’t always easy. Sometimes, the fix can be as simple as an antihistamine. However, if you’ve tried multiple fixes and the problem has not gone away, you might be dealing with a chronic condition known as blepharitis.
What Is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis feels very similar to dry eye, but it’s also accompanied by red, puffy eyelids and matter around the eyelashes. It is a condition caused by the oil glands in your eyelids getting blocked, which causes your eyelids to become itchy and inflamed. You can spot blepharitis by looking for the following symptoms:
- Red, itchy eyelids
- “Crusty” eyelashes or matter in the corner of the eyes
- Easily irritated eyes (constant blinking, sensitivity to light)
- Watery eyes
- Stinging or burning eyes
Where Does It Come From?
One of the reasons blepharitis is difficult to spot and treat is that it is caused by multiple conditions. Blepharitis is common in those with dandruff and other skin conditions, like rosacea. Temporary blepharitis can be caused by eye infections such as pink eye, as well as allergic reactions. In general, if you have a skin or eye condition that causes eye irritation, blepharitis can be a result.
Does It Require Medical Care?
Most people find blepharitis to be annoying, but manageable. However, if you have blepharitis, it’s worth looking into why. It may be a symptom of an allergy or other condition you weren’t aware of. Blepharitis can also lead to complications like chronic pink eye, styes, and even permanent damage to the cornea.
How Does a Doctor Treat Blepharitis?
An ophthalmologist or optometrist can can diagnose you with blepharitis. In order to do this, they will examine your eyelids and eyes for symptoms. They also may take a swab from your eye to test for bacteria or other evidence of infection.
Once blepharitis has been diagnosed, there are a number of care options available to you. Many people are able to effectively treat blephartis with warm compresses and more frequent eye washing. However, if you have a more stubborn case, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and medications that help control the inflammation. They will also treat the underlying cause of the blepharitis. This can involve trying different medications for allergies, treating eye mites, or even just prescribing hydrating eye drops.
Can You Cure Blepharitis?
For some people, once the underlying issue causing their blepharitis is treated, the condition will disappear. Unfortunately, for many people, blepharitis is a chronic condition. However, this does not mean that you will have to suffer from red, itchy eyes for the rest of your life. Most people who have blepharitis are able to keep it under control if they focus on maintaining good eye and skin hygiene. Carefully washing and caring for the skin on your eyelids can do a lot to keep blepharitis at bay. Your ophthalmologist or optometrist can advise you on eye drops, warm compresses, and other tools to handle flare-ups.
Blepharitis is an unsightly inconvenience, but you can do something about it. If you suspect you have blepharitis, call us today. We can help you find the solution you’re looking for.
Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!