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  Posterior blepharitis

Anterior blepharitis

Blepharitis refers to chronic inflammation of the eyelids near the base of the eyelashes that is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that normally lives on the skin. It is a common disorder of the eye and is often the underlying reason for eye discomfort, redness, and tearing. Other symptoms of Blepharitis include: Burning, itching, light sensitivity, and an irritating, sandy, gritty sensation that is worse upon wakening. Blepharitis does not affect vision generally, although a poor tear film may intermittently blur vision, causing varying amounts of fluctuating vision during the day. Blepharitis can also lead to the formation of styes, Chalazion or recurring conjunctivitis (pink eye).

The cause of most cases of Blepharitis is a malfunction of the oil glands of the lids, although allergies, including allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup; infections, and skin conditions such as Rosacea, can also cause Blepharitis. The use of Isotretinoin (Accutane), an oral medication for severe acne, has also been implicated as a cause for Blepharitis. Anyone can get Blepharitis at any age, but the prevalence increases with age, since as we get older, we make fewer natural antibodies in our tears.

Blepharitis requires long term maintenance to keep it under control. The goal is to continue the minimum amount of therapy that is necessary to keep symptoms away. In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine can control Blepharitis. This includes frequent scalp and face washing, using warm compresses to soak the eyelids, and doing eyelid scrubs.

In addition to proper lid hygiene, your eye doctor may also recommend additional treatments such as artificial tears or oral supplements such as Omega 3 or flaxseed oil. A need for prescription antibiotics to help control your Blepharitis may also be determined by your eye doctor after a thorough examination of your eyelids.

Our office also offers BlephEx™, the first and only clinician treatment for blepharitis. It is a new, in-office procedure that allows the clinician to take an active role in treating blepharitis. This device reduces scurf and bacterial debris, the main causes of inflammatory lid disease, and improves the overall health of the eyelid. The treatment is well tolerated and only takes a few minutes to perform. BlephEx™ can save the patient hundreds of dollars in the costs of prescription drops and artificial tears. Ask your doctor about BlephEx at your next appointment.

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