Do you suffer from symptoms of eyelid inflammation or dry and gritty eyelids? Blepharitis is a common condition that may lead to infections and complications if left untreated. In addition to conventional blepharitis treatments, Elmquist Eye Group now offers an innovative treatment called Spa Scrubs.
Blepharitis (blef-uh-RYE-tis) normally affects both eyes and is a chronic, or persistent, condition. This means that once you’ve had it, it can return even after it has cleared up. There are two types of blepharitis:
- Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front edge of your eyelids (near your eyelashes). It may be caused by bacteria, dandruff of the scalp or eyebrows, allergies, or a combination of factors.
- Posterior blepharitis affects the meibomian glands which are located on the inside rim of your eyelids, just behind the eyelashes. These glands produce an oily wax as well as some of your tears. The condition can occur when glands become blocked, creating a favorable environment for the growth of bacteria. It may also develop from other skin conditions such as acne rosacea and scalp dandruff.
At Elmquist Eye Group, we can spot the signs of blepharitis by taking a close look at your eyes and testing to see if there is evidence of a bacterial infection.
Elmquist Eye Group has been serving Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lee County and Southwest Florida for more than 20 years. E. Trevor Elmquist, DO is a board certified ophthalmologist. He has been selected as one of America’s Top Doctors in ophthalmology by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. His partner, Kate Wagner, OD, and associate, Nina Burt, OD, are board certified optometrists who provide a comprehensive range of eye care services.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
Blepharitis, which often contributes to dry eye syndrome, can cause many symptoms, including:
- a foreign body sensation
- eyelid irritation
- swelling along the eyelid margin
- crusting of the eyelid/eyelashes
- itchiness of the eye
- excessive eye watering or tears
- sensitivity to light
- redness of the eye
- intermittent blurred vision
- dry eye
Blepharitis is more common in people over 50, but may develop at any age. As you get older, it can be easier for the glands in your eyelids to become blocked. When this occurs, your tears will not contain enough lubricating oil, and your eyes may begin to feel dry and gritty.
How is blepharitis treated?
Treatment for both types of blepharitis involves keeping your eyelids clean and free of crusty debris. This may include regularly applying warm compresses to the lid to loosen the crusty debris as well as cleansing the eyelid with a cotton swab and a mild soapy solution recommended by your eye doctor.
However, because blepharitis rarely goes away completely, it will be important to maintain this good eyelid hygiene for life. If the condition is severe, your eye doctor may also prescribe antibiotics or medicated eye drops or creams.
To help lessen patient’s symptoms and reduce the need for at-home therapy, Dr. Elmquist has developed an innovative new blepharitis treatment called Spa Scrubs.
Spa Scrubs are performed by one of our skilled physicians at our Fort Myers office. The physician will gently heat the clogged glands and apply gentle pressure to clear out any potential source of infection. The therapy is done in a relaxing setting, and many patients have reported a significant improvement in their symptoms. Spa scrubs can be repeated as needed on an annual basis.
Elmquist Eye Group strives to deliver impeccable vision care. Call us today at (239) 936-2020 for an appointment to find out if the symptoms you have may be caused by blepharitis and get started on treatment.