What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common lid problem. Inflammation of the lid margin and overgrowth of bacteria are commonly present. Scales can form around the base of the lashes. Often the oil glands do not function properly. The oily secretions of these glands can become thickened, the gland openings can become blocked, and the glands become inflamed. These conditions can lead to irritation and redness of the eyes and lids, conjunctivitis and corneal infections. This is a chronic condition that is not eradicated by treatment. Continual treatment is necessary to keep it under control. Some people will have flare-ups of inflammation in spite of regular treatment.
How Do You Treat Blepharitis?
The main treatment of blepharitis is lid hygiene. Cleansing of the lid margins removes excess oil and scales and reduces bacteria. Antibiotic ointment and oral antibiotics may also be of benefit.
How to Perform Lid Hygiene:
You will need
The best detergents are those that are specifically made for this purpose. Commercially available lid cleansing detergents include:
PERFORM ONLY THE STEPS CHECKED FOR YOU.
In some cases oral antibiotics are also used. The most commonly used antibiotics are tetracycline and doxycycline. They must be taken on an empty stomach (at least 1 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating). They can be associated with upset stomach or diarrhea. Sensitivity to sunlight can also occur. Pregnant women and children under the age of 8 should not use them. Most commonly, doxycycline is taken twice daily for 1-2 months then once daily for 2-3 months. In some cases a daily dose is used for many years.
Copyright © 2009 Robert C. Arffa, M.D., 1370 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017