Do your eyelids often feel red, swollen, and itchy, with crusts clumping your eyelashes together? Do you find yourself rubbing your eyes several times a day and not finding relief? Does your vision only seem clear for the second or two after you blink? Do your eyes sting and burn and sometimes feel as though there is sand or grit in them? If so, you may be suffering from a condition called blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids that can lead to dry eyes.
Your eyelids are home to several oil glands, called Meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing an oily substance that mixes with the water of your tears. This substance helps keep your tears on your eyes, instead of evaporating or falling down your cheeks. Sometimes,
interference from natural skin bacteria, hormones, allergies, or mechanical stress from things like makeup application and eye rubbing causes inflammation and atrophy of the oil glands. This leads to watery, runny eyes and itchiness, along with biofilm buildup on the eyelids and eyelashes. Severe disease can make eyes puffy, scaly, and red, and can even transiently affect the quality of your vision. In some cases, tiny eyelash mites may be present, further exacerbating the problem. If left untreated, blepharitis causes pain, discomfort, and can sometimes even lead to serious infection, especially in the case of ocular surgeries like cataract or corneal surgery.
Unfortunately, blepharitis is a chronic condition and has no cure, but the good news is that it is very manageable with a combination of home and in-office therapies. At Cowichan Eyecare, we utilize a number of different cutting-edge technologies to bring you relief faster, including specialized eyelid cleansers and low-level light therapies. Our goal is to make your condition more manageable with our in-office treatment plans so that you are better able to manage your symptoms with home-based therapies. One of the easiest and most affordable in-office treatments, Eyegiene, involves a deep cleaning with an okra-based natural eyelid cleanser and is recommended twice yearly to help remove any biofilm buildup, similar to getting your teeth scaled twice a year. Come on in, close your eyes and relax while we gently scrub your lashes clean. Your eyelids will thank you!
Don’t hesitate to book an eye exam if you are experiencing any of the above problems. An optometrist will work with you to prescribe a specially developed treatment plan based on your specific needs and the type of blepharitis you have and check the rest of your eye health during your visit.