Blepharitis Care in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA
If your eyelids are flaking, burning, itching, crusting and otherwise making your life miserable, you may be suffering from a distressingly common condition known as blepharitis. This form of chronic eyelid inflammation can be caused by external irritants or a malfunction of the glands that lubricate the eye and the inside of the eyelid. The good news is that you don’t have to let this vexing condition get the best of you. Gilbert Eyecare can run the necessary exams to pinpoint the underlying cause of your blepharitis, enabling us to prescribe the appropriate treatment options.
Blepharitis can be roughly described either “eyelid dandruff” or “eyelid acne” depending on the factors causing your symptoms. These two primary categories are generally referred to by where they originate on the eyelid:
Anterior blepharitis develops along the row of eyelash roots on the outside edge of the eyelid. This form of blepharitis is often caused by seborrheic dermatitis, the same problem that produces dandruff; it also produces similar effects, including dry, flaky, scaly eyelid skin. Bacteria, viruses, mites and allergies are other causes of anterior blepharitis. This form of the disorder can cause additional issues such as loss of eyelashes, thickened eyelid margins and even a turning inward/outward of the eyelid.
Posterior blepharitis originates on the inside of the eyelid. It is often a result of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a blockage that occurs in the meibomian glands that are supposed to provide lubricating oils for your eye’s tear film. This dysfunction not only causes the crusting and thickened eyelid margins of blepharitis, but it can also be a prime factor in chronic dry eye. The sebaceous glands of the eyelid can also develop problems, leading to rosacea symptoms in the eyelid. If a gland becomes infected, you may even experience a painful lump known as a stye.
How Our Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA Optometrists Can Help
Comprehensive eye exams by our Virginia Beach and Norfolk, VA optometrists can determine whether your symptoms are indeed blepharitis, and if so, which variety. Your eye doctor will examine your lid margins, eyelashes, eyelid skin, meibomian glands and tear film quality/quantity. If matted crusts around the eyelashes have led to bleeding, we may also check the corneas for any signs of inflammation, a possible complication of severe ulcerative blepharitis. Once we’ve pinpointed the reasons for your condition, we may recommend treatments such as:
- Antibiotics to fight staphylococcus or other bacteria
- Anti-dandruff shampoos to reduce flaking
- Anti-inflammatory drugs and/or steroid eye drops
- LipiFlow, an electronic MGD treatment that unblocks the meibomian glands to relieve both posterior blepharitis and dry eye
- Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids
- Home care practices such as warm compresses, eyelid scrubs and temporary avoidance of eye makeup or contact lenses
Learn About BlephEx
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Contact Our Optometry Center for Blepharitis Diagnosis and Treatment
Blepharitis is uncomfortable, unattractive and annoying, and for some people, it may be an ongoing battle — but if you value your quality of life, it’s definitely a battle worth fighting. Our optometry center is ready to help you enjoy relief, so call any of our three offices and make an appointment with Gilbert Eycare!