Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation that affects the eyelids and eyelashes, and is a frequent problem in both children and adults. It is one of the most common problems doctors will see in their office.
Blepharitis can often cause redness and swelling as well as burning, itching, and irritation of the eyelids. You may notice a dandruff or crusty, flaky skin on the eyelids, while some patients have no symptoms at all. Among the most common causes of this condition are poor eyelid hygiene, excessive oil produced by the glands in the eyelids, bacterial infections, allergic reactions, and touching your eyes or eyelids with your fingers or hands.
The best way to control it is to keep the eyelids and eyelashes clean. Start with a warm compress to loosen debris. This can be done with a warm, damp, clean washcloth held over your closed eyes for ten minutes. After performing your lid compresses, use a clean washcloth soaked in an equal mixture of baby shampoo and water and gently scrub the eyelids at the base of your eyelashes and rinse thoroughly. Do this two to three times daily.
Like dandruff, there is no cure for blepharitis, but it can be controlled. In some cases, antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eyedrops or ointments are necessary for flare-ups or more severe cases. All forms of blepharitis are chronic in nature and require long-term treatment. Be sure to maintain your appointments with your eye doctor so that your condition can be monitored and treated.