Red Irritated Lids

Blepharitis
Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Some people are more prone to blepharitis. Individuals of Celtic descent, light complexion, light hair and or light eyes are at greater risk. Their symptoms include red, swollen or crusty eyelids.

The tear film is made up of three layers. The inside layer is mucous that holds the middle aqueous, or watery layer, on the front of the eye. The outside layer is an oily film that is secreted by meibomian glands which empty along the edge of the lids just behind the lashes.

Blehparitis1-300x199
When the middle aqueous or watery layer of the tear film lessens, the oil from the meibomian glands is not diluted and it starts to collect at the base of the lashes. Blepharitis occurs when skin cells that slough off and would normally be carried away when you wash can now be trapped in this oily build up. These dead cells then become a source of bacteria which can cause infections within the lid or on the front of the eye. Blepharitis is of particular concern to contact lens wearers.

Careful attention to lid hygiene, particularly in times of season change can prevent blepharitis. When you wash your face, use a face cloth to gently rub along the edges of the closed eye to prevent the oily build up. Frequent warm compresses can also open the glands and purge them of debris. Ask the eyecare professionals at Parrelli Optical® about medicated scrubs to treat blepharitis.

© 2014 Dr. Scott Sylvia ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Some images are courtesy of manufacturers.