What Is Blepharitis and Can It Be Prevented Or Cured?

One of the most common issues that can occur with eyesight is something called “Blepharitis”, but what exactly is it? Blepharitis is where the edges of your eyelids become red, swollen and irritable. According to the National Eye Institute, Blepharitis is caused by an imbalance of bacteria on your eyelids at the base of your eyelashes.  Granted, having bacteria on your skin is 100% normal and everyone does, the issue is predominantly caused by a build-up of unwanted bacteria. It can, however, also be caused by clogged or irritated oil glands within the eyelid itself.

How can this imbalance of bacteria be caused?

The main factor that causes this imbalance is wearing eye makeup. Eyeline and other eye makeup, when not taken off properly, stays on the surface of the skin prohibiting the oil glands (Meibomian Glands) from being sufficiently ventilated and thus causes blockages. This does therefore mean that Blepharitis is significantly more common in women, though it doesn’t conform to the stereotype that only women wear makeup. In addition, Blepharitis is increasingly common in those over the age of 40, whilst a recent scientific study “The International Workshop on Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: Report of the Subcommittee on the Epidemiology of, and Associated Risk Factors, for MGD” highlighted that 69% of Asian populations in Thailand, Japan and China have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and therefore suggest that ethnicity may play a role.

Blepharitis can be categorised into two main types, which you may have together to individually. The first type is “Anterior Blepharitis”, and as the name suggests, affects the outside of the eye where your skin attaches to your eyelid. This is usually due to bacteria on the skin or dandruff from your scalp or eyebrows, meaning that people who suffer from facial eczema and/or dry skin are more prone to it. The second type is “Posterior Blepharitis”, which affects the outside of the inner edge of the eyelid, more simply, the part of the eyelid that touches the eye. This type is more commonly seen among people with a skin condition such as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis and is when the Meibomian Gland become dysfunctional or clogged.

Can Blepharitis be cured or prevented?

Due to the nature of Blepharitis, it can be both prevented and cured. To prevent Blepharitis, the best way is to ensure that you clean your eyes consistently and thoroughly. Some may recommend using a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo and a warm towel, pressing the towel against your closed eye and gently rubbing in opposing directions in order to clear any dirt/debris which may have accumulated. However, we would recommend something much simpler for ensuring the consistent and thorough cleaning of the eyes. We recommend using a product like “Blephaclean”, the AMO formulated sterile wipes are ideal for exfoliating, refreshing and removing any built-up debris/dirt from your eye that is unwanted bacteria. In addition to this, their hypoallergenic and preservative feature means they are the best product on the market for people with sensitive skin, as well as being suitable for any age range and contact lens users.

If your Blepharitis has developed into an infection, we suggest that you consult your doctor who may prescribe antibiotics or a more rigorous cleaning routine.