You have been diagnosed with blepharitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids. You may notice some or all of the following:

    ● Eyelids become crusty, irritated and red due to a build-up of oil and debris on the eyelids and eyelashes

    ● Burning, irritation, soreness and itching of the eyelids

    ● Foreign body sensation (you feel like there is something in your eye)

    ● Scales close to the root of the eyelash

    Blepharitis is a chronic (long-term) recurring condition and so the most important part of treating and managing it is to keep your eyelids clean. Occasionally it is due to an infection, if so you may also have to take medication prescribed by your healthcare professional to be used throughout the prescribed treatment. 

    Although blepharitis is not life threatening, if not treated it will not improve, and your symptoms will remain and possibly worsen. Blepharitis is one of the most common reasons for cancelling elective (planned) eye surgery.

    Eyelid Hygiene

    There are two easy methods for proper eyelid hygiene which will help manage your blepharitis.

    1. Apply Heat & Massage

    ● Wash your hands before and after cleaning

    ● Apply a warm compress to your closed eyes at 35-40°C for 10 minutes, which will soften the debris and oils. Then massage your eyelids, which will help reduce your symptoms

    ● You can use a clean facecloth soaked in hot water or alternatively there are a number of heat masks specifically for the eye

    2Eyelid Hygiene

    ● Wash your hands before and after cleaning

    ● Commercially available lid scrubs are usually pre-soaked in a cleansing solution and are ready to use

    ● You may alternatively have been advised to use "at-home" remedies such as diluted baby shampoo or baking powder. Due to the steps involved, many patients find these remedies inconvenient in day to day life, which can also be irritating to your eyelids

    ● When using lid scrubs, close your eyes and gently scrub your eyelid using side-to-side strokes for approximately 30 seconds. Repeat this for your other eyelid

    ● Lid scrubs may require you to rinse your eyelids after applying, please follow the manufacturer's instructions. There are many lid scrubs available, which your healthcare professional may be happy to recommend

    As blepharitis is a long term condition, it is important that you continue this routine for as long as you have been told by your healthcare professional, in many cases this may be forever. While short term treatments will reduce the symptoms, the likelihood is that they will return once you stop performing regular eyelid hygiene.

    Useful Information

    ● Remove any eye make-up before going to bed. The lid scrub pads mentioned are an excellent way of doing this while also keeping your eyelids clean

    ● Don't share your eye make-up or lotions with anyone else

    ● Don't share your facecloths or towels with anyone else

    ● Blepharitis is often associated with Dry Eye. Artificial tears will help to relieve these symptoms

    Other Times When Hygiene is Important

    If your healthcare professional has discussed the importance of eyelid hygiene with you, it may be because you have one of the following:

    ● Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)

    ● Stye (infection of a gland in the eyelid)

    ● Marginal keratitis (inflammation of the eye itself; often secondary to bacterial infection or blepharitis)

    ● Ocular rosacea (redness of the eyelids)

    ● Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the outer surface of the eye and inner surface of the eyelidcommonly caused by infection or an allergy)

    If so, you should perform daily eyelid cleaning as detailed above for as long as your healthcare professional has advised. 

    Click the link for more information on Ophthalmology Clinical Service

    Click the link for more information on Family Medicine Clinical Service



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