Perhaps you have recently been diagnosed with blepharitis, a chronic disease of the eyelid. Blepharitis can be cumbersome and even painful, and you may be wondering, “Does blepharitis ever go away?” There is no cure for blepharitis and it unfortunately won’t go away on its own. Because it is a chronic condition, blepharitis requires long-term treatment by the expert team at Elmquist Eye Group to keep the condition under control.
The upper and lower eyelids contain small glands that secrete an oily substance. These glands can become infected, leading to blepharitis, which is a common eyelid disease. You may be experiencing redness, itching or swelling along the eyelid margin, and you may be feeling a dry or gritty feeling or even a foreign body sensation in the eye.
The Trifecta of Treatment
At Elmquist, we use our “treatment trifecta”, proven to work well with blepharitis. First, we use warm compresses on the affected area. These have been proven very effective because the compresses heat the debris that has collected on the eyelid margin. Our expert team will also sometimes perform eyelid massage while the warm compress is applied. This combination is particularly used on patients who have Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
After warm compresses have been used to heat the debris, we use a very effective treatment method called lid scrubbing.
We scrub the base of the eyelashes, right on the eyelid margin, to reduce bacteria strongholds. This innovative spa scrub was actually designed by Dr. Elmquist and is performed in our Fort Myers office by one of our skilled physicians. We will send you home with an at-home kit to maintain your eyelid hygiene after the procedure. Patients report a significant improvement in their condition.
Immediately after scrubbing, we apply an antibiotic treatment ointment on the eyelid margin. Our standard of care involves the use of one two mainstay ointments: erythromycin antibiotic eye ointment and/or a steroid eye ointment. Both help reduce further bacteria in the eyelid region. In patients with MGD or complicated cases where a lid abscess is also present, we may prescribe oral antibiotics. Surgical care is rarely needed for blepharitis except in certain cases where a chalazion (eyelid cyst) has formed and other specialized cases.
At Elmquist, we treat blepharitis in two phases. During the acute phase, we use an intensive therapy to rapidly reduce the inflammation to get the condition under control. Then we help the condition during a maintenance phase, providing the minimum amount of therapy needed to keep the disease under control. Some of our patients have relapses. In others, while the blepharitis may not completely disappear, the condition is well-controlled.
The Elmquist Answer
While blepharitis does not usually go away and there is no cure, the condition is easily maintained by practicing regular eyelid hygiene. It is important for patients to know that left untreated, blepharitis can lead to worse infections and further complications. If you have blepharitis, contact one of our experts at the Elmquist Eye Group today. Come in for treatment and we will teach you how to keep your condition under control. Give us a call and schedule an appointment today.