Anterior Blepharitisis a condition where debris made up of flakes or clumps of dry skin containing some bacteria collect at the base of the eyelashes. These are constantly getting into the eye causing inflammation resulting in red eyes, painful, burning eyes, watering and grittiness.
In order to stop this happening you need to clean away this debris frequently. For this the simplest and most affordable method is to:
get a cup of cooled boiled water and add a few drops of Johnsons Baby Shampoo.
Using a cotton bud or some cotton gauze, use this solution to clean the eyelashes near where they come out of the skin.
Alternatively you can use commercially available lid wipes such as blephaclean ®or occusoft®lid wipes or lid scrubs.
Posterior Blepharitis affects the meibomian glands. Meibomian glands are little oil glands within the edge of the eyelid which produce oil which we need in our tears to lubricate the eyes. These little glands in some people don’t flow very well and the glands can become full of thick oil. Again some bacteria reside in the glands. This also leads to red painful, burning eyes and effects the lubrication of the eyes resulting in gritty eyes.
In order to improve this you need to get the oil glands to flow better. You should:
Get a hot cloth (not so hot to be uncomfortable or leave the skin red).
Place the cloth over the eyes for five minutes to heat up the oil in the eyelids. You will need to repeatedly soak the cloth in hot water to keep it hot.
Apply gentle pressure all along the edge of the eyelid with a clean finger.
Alternatively you can use commercially available microwavable heat mask such as the Optase ® mask.
Ocular Lubricants (Artificial Tears)
In addition to these procedures you may need to take ocular lubricants frequently. There are many available. Thealoz Duo® Celluvisc®, the Hylo® range, Artelac SDU®, Hyabak®, Vidisic Gel®and the Systane® range are examples of good lubricants although there are many more available. You may need to try a few to see which you like best. Make sure to use preservative free lubricants.
Managing your Blepharitis
You are likely to go through good patches and bad patches with blepharitis. If you follow this advice you should be able to control your Blepharitis. You should perform the described procedures twice daily initially but can reduce the frequency if your symptoms are very well controlled and the eyes are white for a long time. Persistent symptoms of irritated red eyes suggest that it isn't under control. If you aren't keeping it under control you should see your ophthalmologist.
There are 2 types of Blepharitis: Anterior Blepharitis and Posterior Blepharitis. People can often have both types.