Every now and then, we all may have that pesky foreign-body sensation in our eyes. It could be that we stayed up too late, or spent one too many hours in front of the computer screen. When redness and irritation become a persistent complaint, there may be more going on than a minor nuisance. You may have blepharitis.
Formal terms can sound frightening, but don’t panic. Blepharitis describes inflammation to the eyelid. That’s all. While the problem is typically not immediately serious, there is a good reason to obtain proper care for the inflammation you are experiencing. An examination by your eye doctor can determine if blepharitis is limited to the front, outer surface of the eyelid, or if it stems from dysfunction within the meibomian glands that lubricate the eyes. In many cases, patients are affected by both forms of blepharitis. Fortunately, we can develop a treatment plan to improve the condition.
When you consistently struggle with tearing, itching, irritating redness, burning, and flaking of the eyelid, what you want is relief. Over-the-counter eye drops usually don’t provide this. What is needed is professional care that inhibits bacteria from causing this irritation. In many cases, eyelid hygiene can achieve excellent results for patients with blepharitis. Avenova for eye hygiene is available in our office.
Depending on the severity and origin of blepharitis (anterior or posterior), nutritional supplementation may also be a valuable approach. Some studies have indicated that patients with posterior blepharitis, originating in the meibomian glands, may benefit from increasing their intake of Omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in flax seed or may be taken in supplement form. The reason for increasing these fatty acids is because they facilitate lubrication of the eye.
Treating blepharitis is necessary to avoid long-term consequences to eye health, such as the thickening of the margins of the eyelid, visible capillaries, or the loss of eyelashes.
Avenova is available over the counter from your Amarillo area ophthalmologist. This product is formulated to reduce inflammation quickly through twice-a-day use.