Blepharitis occurs when the eyelids become inflamed. The majority of cases involve the portion of the eyelid on which eyelashes grow. It is common for the condition to affect both eyelids. The cause of blepharitis is usually clogging of the small oil glands around the base of the eyelashes. Several underlying conditions can lead to this clogging. It does not usually cause permanent eyesight damage, and it is not contagious. However, blepharitis can cause discomfort, and it may affect a patient's appearance. Blepharitis patients may experience watery and red eyes, stinging in the eyes, itchy eyelids, crusted eyelashes, sticky eyelids, and abnormal eyelash growth. Two other symptoms include increased blinking and sensitivity to light.
Blepharitis can be difficult to treat, and it tends to be chronic. However, there are a variety of options, including ointment and prescription eye drops for blepharitis. There are also ways to experience blepharitis pain relief, including anti-inflammatory medication. Patients should understand their options first and discuss them with a doctor.
Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections in the body. In the case of blepharitis, doctors may prescribe topical antibiotics that can be applied directly to the eyelids rather than oral antibiotics. When topical antibiotics are applied to the eyelid, studies have shown patients experience significant relief from their symptoms.
Antibiotics applied to the eyelid tend to come in ointment and cream form. They should be approved for treating eye infections, as individuals do not want to use any medication that could irritate their eyes or damage their vision. Some antibiotics are also available in eye drop form, which can be helpful if the eyes themselves are also irritated. Doctors tend to prescribe topical antibiotics first, but if the infection does not get any better, they may prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. Patients will not need to take these for a long time, but they must make sure to take every dose.
Blepharitis occurs when there is eyelid inflammation. Thankfully, doctors can prescribe corticosteroids to help treat inflammation at the source. There are steroid eye drops and ointments available to help with blepharitis. Ointments are meant to be applied to the eyelid, while eye drops are dropped into the eye. Depending on the level of inflammation, patients may be prescribed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications simultaneously. The antibiotics will help clear up any bacterial infection. The anti-inflammatory medications will ease the redness, pain, discomfort, and swelling.
Corticosteroids are medications that artificially resemble cortisol, a major hormone released by the adrenal glands. They help suppress immune system function, which leads to a lessening of inflammation in the body. In the same vein, a doctor may prescribe a topical medication that suppresses the immune system even more firmly. Corticosteroids are available as oral medications in addition to topical. However, they are rarely prescribed orally for blepharitis.