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    Eyes, Prima Medical Center Saigon, Eyecare & Aesthetic, Eye Diseases

    Blepharitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

    15 May, 2023

    Have you ever had pain and discomfort in the eyelash area of your eyes? It can be a symptom of a common disease called blepharitis. If you have oily skin or sensitive eyelids, the chances of a recurrence of the disease are high. Don’t worry; this article will give you the necessary information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of eyelid inflammation.

    Is blepharitis dangerous?

    What is blepharitis?

    Blepharitis is a dysfunction of sebaceous glands (meibomian glands) at the base of eyelashes. When meibomian glands are blocked, eye health problems can occur, such as patching or eyelid scarring. In addition, it also causes thickening and scabbing of the eyelids, making tears foamy.

    At the same time, this is also a common eye disease, normal in people with sensitive or irritated eyes.  In particular, the likelihood of eyelid inflammation recurrence is very high if the person is not treated correctly.

    Who is prone to blepharitis?

    Blepharitis is a widespread eye disease. However, not everyone is susceptible to it. Factors that impact disease susceptibility include age, sex, genetics, health status, living environment, and eye care habits.

    Unchangeable factors

    • Eyelid inflammation usually appears in people of average age or older.  Therefore, the elderly are at higher risk for this disease. However, the disease can also affect young people, especially those with weak health conditions or susceptible to environmental influences (smog).

    Blepharitis in children

    • Gender is also an essential factor influencing the likelihood of eyelid inflammation. Many studies have shown that women are more likely to develop this disease than men. This can be due to various factors, including hormonal changes and different eye care habits.
    • Other factors include genetics, health status, and habitat. If there are people in your family with blepharitis, your chances of getting it are higher than those who do not have a history of this disease. In addition, people with a history of skin diseases, diabetes, cottage, and other pathologies are also at high risk of this disease.

    Flexible factors

    Eye care routines also affect the possibility of eyelid inflammation. Using eye cosmetics, wearing contact lenses, scratching, or scratching the eyelids can all cause damage to eyelids and lead to blepharitis. Therefore, maintaining eye care routines is very important to prevent this irritation.

    On the other hand, blepharitis usually appears in areas of eyelashes, where lacrimal glands produce oil and sweat glands have a high density.  Therefore, people who own oily, sensitive skin will face a high risk of it. However, people with acne, atopic dermatitis, dry skin or frequent contact with seawater, dirt or irritants should also be noted.

    Causes of blepharitis

    Causes of eyelid inflammation

    The causes of blepharitis are very diverse.  One of the leading causes of this condition is the infection of the eyelash area by bacteria or viruses. Some common types of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause these infections.

    In addition, eyelid inflammation can also be caused by allergies or irritation. Irritants such as mascara, makeup remover, eyeshadow, shampoo, and other beauty products can cause irritation and blepharitis. In addition, this condition can also be caused by external factors such as UV rays from the sun, wind, high temperature and humidity.

    On the other hand, blepharitis can also be caused by other pathologies such as folliculitis, endocrine diseases, or immunodeficiency. Therefore, to prevent and treat blepharitis, it is necessary to identify the specific cause for effective treatment.

     Some other causes of blepharitis include:

    • Abnormal eyelash gland function.
    • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff in the scalp and eyebrows).
    • Rosacea (a condition in which acne wraps on the face and is the cause of facial blushing).
    • Eyelash lice (small parasites in the eyelash follicles).

    Symptoms of blepharitis

    Because it is a common eye disease, symptoms of blepharitis can be easily recognized. Initially, the area around both eyes will be red and swollen. Then white or yellow lumps of pus may appear along the lashes. When touched or when looking at bright lights, your eyes will feel discomfort and pain.

    Symptoms of blepharitis

    Besides, people with blepharitis may feel soreness and discomfort when looking at a computer screen or reading a book for a long time. If you have these symptoms, consult your doctor for timely examination and treatment.

     Specifically, some manifestations such as:

    • Redness, swelling, and inflammation on the outer edge of eyelids.
    • Pimples or white flakes on the skin around the eyelashes.
    • Itching, discomfort, burning pain or tearing.
    • Small subcutaneous tumours around the eyelids may appear.
    • The pores are clogged so that eyelids may have foreign bodies.
    • Feeling eye strain, eye soreness, and difficulty seeing clearly.

    Diagnosis of blepharitis

    Blepharitis is a common pathology of the eye; therefore, an accurate diagnosis is important to devise an effective treatment. The following are some methods for diagnosing it:

    • Eye exam: Your eye doctor will thoroughly check for signs of blepharitis, including the colour and condition of your eyelids, soreness, and itching, and whether your eyes are blurry.
    • Specimen culture: Doctor will take a sample of immune fluid from the blepharitis-infected area to determine the type of bacteria or virus causing eyelid inflammation and the appropriate treatment.
    • Blood tests: Your eye doctor may order blood tests to determine your general health condition and rule out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms.

    Recognizing itchy eyelids

    Epileptic examination and intraocular pressure examination are not considered direct diagnostic methods. These are the only methods that help exclude other diseases with symptoms like blepharitis, making the diagnosis more accurate.

    During a biopsy, the doctor will use a small tool to sample cells from the blepharitis area. After that, the cell sample will be taken to the laboratory to see under a microscope and detect whether there is a disease.  In the case of intraocular pressure, the doctor will measure pressure by placing a small device over the eye and measuring the amount of fluid in the eye. This helps doctors rule out glaucoma, another eye disease with blepharitis-like symptoms.

    Blepharitis treatment

    Blepharitis is one of the chronic diseases of the eye but can be controlled and treated.  Accordingly, the treatment of this disease depends on the cause of the disease and the severity of the disease. Your eye doctor will help you find the most appropriate treatment during your examination and treatment.

    Proper treatment of blepharitis

    Surgery to remove sweat glands will be performed for more severe cases of blepharitis. Doing this will help patients reduce symptoms, reduce pain, and prevent recurrence effectively. In contrast, with milder cases, blepharitis can be treated by physical methods. Furthermore, if eyelid inflammation is caused by a related pathology (conjunctivitis or gingivitis), then treatment of the root condition will help reduce blepharitis.

    Effective healing habits for treating eyelid inflammation

    • Wash the eyelash area: This is the simplest, gentlest method to clean plaque on the eyelash area and reduce inflammation. Using physiological saline solutions to wash eyelashes will help eliminate bacteria and reduce inflammation.
    • Use eye drops: Eye drops contain anti-inflammatory, antibacterial ingredients that can relieve pain and reduce inflammation. However, the use of eye drops should be prescribed by a doctor, avoiding arbitrary use to cause side effects.
    • Apply warm compresses: Apply a clean swab or towel soaked in warm water, squeeze it out, and apply it to your closed eyelids for a few minutes. This will be repeated three times to help soften and loosen the scales and plaque around the eyelashes.  At the same time, the oil from nearby eyelashes is also emulsified, thereby preventing scarring from developing.
    • Eyelash scrub: Using a clean towel, cotton swab or fiberless gauze soaked in warm water, gently rub the lashes at the base of the eyelashes for about 15 seconds for each eyelid.
    • Ointment for blepharitis: Using a clean cotton swab, gently apply a small amount at the base of the eyelashes before going to bed.
    • Nutrition: Lack of substances can lead to eyelid inflammation. For example, an imbalance of fatty acids leads to abnormal secretion of oil glands. Therefore, nutritional balance plays a very important role. Accordingly, you should consult with an ophthalmologist to develop an appropriate diet.

    Finally, adhering to eye hygiene measures such as not sharing handkerchiefs, not using excessive cosmetics, or cleaning glasses properly is also an effective way to prevent blepharitis.