BLEPHARITIS is a condition that affects the eyelid margins. It may also affect the tissues lining the lids and eyeball (the conjunctiva) and the window of the eye (the cornea). There are several different types of blepharitis which may occur alone or in combination; these types involve either the lash bearing area (anterior blepharitis) or the area behind the lashes where the meibomian glands open (posterior blepharitis).
Requires the regular use of simple LID HYGIENE for long term control. MEDICATIONS are helpful in severe cases or for flare ups of the condition. Medications used are drops, ointments applied to the lid margin after lid hygiene, and oral antibiotics. Recommended treatments for you are ticked in the boxes next to the descriptions of each.
You can relieve the irritation by daily lid hygiene (like your dental hygiene). This comprises lid margin cleaning to remove crusts and debris and reduce the numbers of bacteria (for anterior blepharitis) and/or hot compresses to warm meibomian oils followed by massage to express these oils from the glands and improve gland function.
Use a fresh cotton bud moistened with cooled boiled water (or any sterile solution such as saline for contact lens users) to scrub the base of the lashes, removing crusts, debris and bacteria. After loosening these with a damp bud a dry bud will help dislodge the debris. If you have difficulty using a bud use proprietary cleaning pads (ie LidCare pads by CIBA).
DO NOT CLEAN THE INSIDE (PINK) SURFACE
Hot compress and massage
Step 1: Hot compress – Either heat the lids with a flannel soaked in hot water. Apply to closed eyes for 3-5 minutes. Reheat as necessary. Or use a heat pad such as the “Eyebag” from www.eyebagcompany.com.
Step 2: Massage – express the oily secretions from the meibomian glands by using a cotton bud or your finger. Firm pressure is required to milk the secretions towards the gland opening on the lid margin. Use a rotary motion down (or up) towards the lid margin. Work your way across the whole upper and lower lid. Do NOT stretch the lid
May be given to restore the tear film (lubricants usually used 1-6x daily as required), or to soothe inflammation (steroids used as directed usually from 1-4x daily). Occasionally a 5 day course of antibiotic drops may be given. If you are taking steroids you must have the regular eye pressure check that has been recommended – do not obtain steroid drops on repeat prescription as you may forget the check. Apply drops before ointment.
given to reduce the level of bacteria (antibiotic) or, occasionally, to reduce the inflammation on the lid margin (steroid). After lid cleaning apply to the lash line with a cotton bud or clean finger.
given principally for their anti-inflammatory properties and for the beneficial effect on the meibomian secretions. Usually used at a low dose for several weeks. You do NOT have an infection that can be transmitted.