Blepharitis/Lid Hygiene

Blepharitis is a very common low-grade, recurrent inflammation of the eyelid margin. It is characterized by recurrent redness and inflammation of the edge of the eyelid coupled with crusting at the base of the eyelashes and in some instances, loss of eyelashes. A common symptom of Blepharitis is frequent burning of the eyes, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blepharitis can sometimes make contact lens wear more difficult.

Blepharitis is a chronic problem which can usually be controlled relatively easily. Initial treatment includes lid hygiene, and may also include antibiotic drops or ointment to help control the inflammation. Blepharitis responds quite readily to this treatment, but may tend to recur. Recurrence can be kept to a minimum by on-going use of lid hygiene.

Lid Hygiene

The lid margins of the upper and lower lids should be thoroughly cleaned each morning and each evening for two weeks. Using a lid scrub process will remove the dry skin and bacteria on the lid margins, and will usually arrest any redness, swelling or irritation. Lid hygiene should be continued on an ongoing basis 2-3 times each week after the initial treatment period.

There are several good Lid Scrub products on the market, usually packaged with a mild, non-irritating cleanser and cotton pads.

An alternative to pre-packaged lid scrubs is to make a solution of one part baby shampoo to nine parts water. This is applied to the margins with a cotton pad or q-tip swab.

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