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Eyelids - Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelids. It is very common, and it is a permanent condition. Once it is present, it will always be present, but the severity may change over time. In some cases, the symptoms can disappear for long time periods, months or years, before returning.

Causes of Blepharitis

There are two main causes of blepharitis: staphylococcus bacteria and seborrhea. Blepharitis caused by staphylococcus bacteria often begins in childhood. Common symptoms include collar scales on the lashes, crusting, and chronic redness at the lid margin. Dilated blood vessels, loss of lashes, sties, and chalazia also occur. Treatment is very important. In addition to eliminating the redness and soreness, treatment can prevent potential infection and scarring of the cornea and conjunctiva. 
Blepharitis can also result from seborrhea. Seborrhea can cause greasy, waxy scales to accumulate along the eyelid margins. Seborrhea may be a part of an overall skin disorder that affects other areas as well. Hormones, nutrition, general physical condition, and stress are factors in seborrhea.

Blepharitis Treatment

Careful daily cleansing of the eyelashes with warm water and mild shampoo (such as baby shampoo) can help control blepharitis. Once the redness and soreness are under control, cleaning may be decreased from daily to twice weekly. However, if the symptoms return, daily cleansing must be resumed immediately. 
In some cases, we may prescribe eye drops or ointment to be used along with daily cleansing. However, medication alone is insufficient; keeping the eyelids clean is essential. Warm, moist compresses can also help relieve the symptoms of blepharitis when used in conjunction with regular eyelid cleansing. 
The doctors at Bonner Eye Clinic can help you to determine whether you have blepharitis and which type you have. We can also prescribe an appropriate medication if you need one. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment!
Grand Rapids Office 
(218) 326-3433 
Hibbing Office 
(218) 262-3156 
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