Blepharitis is the result of an infestation of dust mites into the areas around and in the eyelids and lashes. In some patients, the infestation does not produce symptoms, but in others symptoms of irritation, itching, discomfort and dry eyes occur.
Self cleansing of the area can be of great help in not only preventing the infestation, but in clearing it up if it is present. However, the eye area is difficult for many people to keep clean, because it is a sensitive area, and difficult to reach due to the positioning of the eyes.
The eyes are recessed between the nose, the eyebrow and the cheek bone, for protection, and care should be taken when cleaning. If an individual uses a small wash cloth with a bit of mild soap, the surface of the eyelid and lashes, both upper and lower can be cleaned daily, and clear up the problem of Blepharitis and dry eyes.
It is thought that the reason that a hygienic approach works so well is that by daily cleansing the area, the mites are not allowed to mate, and with that they all eventually die, as their life span is short lived.
An eye doctor can tell if there are possible mites present by using a slit lamp to check the eye area for cylindrical dandruff, which is commonly a sign that mites are present.
Doctors have also found that giving a patient Omega 3 fatty acids as a supplement helps, as they are anti-inflammatory, although it can take up to six months for the treatment to become effective.
One very effective treatment for the Blepharitis and dry eyes condition is heat. An application to the eyes of a moist heat compact at bedtime and then again the first thing in the morning is a very effective treatment. What is occurring is that the tear ducts get clogged with lipids, and the heat changes the fatty deposits back to a liquid and that gets the tears flowing again.
Patients are also advised to blink a lot, as the glands, called the meibomian glands, secrete oil by the action from the nerves that are stimulated by blinking. Combined with the heat application, a person can keep the tear ducts open by blinking quite often.
We blink less and less as we age, so with older individuals their blinking rate may have something to do with more severe symptoms with the blepharitis.
In most instances, self care by cleaning two times a day, the application of moist heat and blinking will take care of the situation of one, getting rid of the mites, and two getting the secretions from the tear ducts flowing again. However in more severe cases, a topical medication might do the trick.
An antibiotic such as erythromycin or a bacitracin ointment may be necessary, particularly if there is considerable inflammation. Only a little of the medication is needed, as a little bit will go a long way, and the eye won’t be so messy with medicine.
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