What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids in which bacteria and dandruff-like flakes develop at the base of your eyelashes. If you’ve wondered what can be done about the problem, consider the innovative Spa Scrubs treatment designed by Dr. Trevor Elmquist that has provided relief for many of our patients.
At Elmquist Eye Group, E. Trevor Elmquist, DO, founder, and Sarah Eccles-Brown, MD, are experienced board certified ophthalmologists, and Kate Wagner, OD, Dr. Elmquist’s partner, and Nina Burt, OD, are highly skilled board certified optometrists. No matter what type of concern you have about your eyes, our talented team offers a complete range of vision care.
Blepharitis is a skin problem that affects the eyelids and lashes. The two main types are:
- Anterior blepharitis – This type of blepharitis affects the outside of the eyelid (near the eyelashes). It is commonly caused by bacteria or dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows and may also develop as a result of skin allergies and eczema.
- Posterior blepharitis – This type of blepharitis affects the inner edge of the eyelid that touches the eyeball. There are tiny meibomian glands located here that secrete an oily substance and create a favorable environment for bacteria. It may also develop as a result of other skin conditions, such as rosacea and scalp dandruff.
The signs and symptoms associated with blepharitis include:
- Itching and burning of the eyes
- Redness of the eyes or eyelids
- Flaking of skin on the lids
- Eyes feel dry or gritty
- Crusting near the lashes (generally worst when you wake up)
- Reduced vision
- Dry eye
Blepharitis usually affects both eyes and is chronic, which means that once you’ve had it, it can come and go, even after it has been cleared up.
Blepharitis usually requires long-term management, and treatment will depend on the cause of the condition. In mild cases, your eye doctor may advise you to place a warm washcloth on your eye to help loosen any debris on the lashes. You may also have to wash your eyelids with an eyelid cleanser or diluted baby shampoo.
Your doctor may recommend prescription antibiotic drops, ointment, or an oral antibiotic if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the problems.
Dr. Elmquist has also developed an innovative, in-office spa therapy treatment for blepharitis sufferers, called Spa Scrubs. The eye doctor carefully expresses the glands of the eyelids to eliminate any potential source of infection while you relax in a serene setting. The goal of Spa Scrub therapy is to reduce your need for at-home therapy.
Many of the patients who have had this therapy report a significant improvement in their symptoms. Spa scrubs can be repeated as needed on an annual basis.
Your eye health is important to us at Elmquist Eye Group. Our team will help you understand what may be causing your blepharitis and decide on the best course of treatment. Schedule your eye exam today by calling us at (239) 936-2020.