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Doctor’s Note: If you think you might be suffering from any of these above complications, call up McDonald Optical and schedule an eye exam with one of our professional Iowa City optometrists.
CAuses of Blepharitis
Blepharitis refers to eyelids that are red, itchy, and/or irritated. This is also referred to as eyelash dandruff. Though itchy, flaky eyelashes may seem like an extreme condition, blepharitis is common and is often caused by other common conditions such as dandruff of the scalp or rosacea.
Eyelash dandruff can spread from person to person or be caused by seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows), rosacea, or even eyelash mites or lice. If not only for general eye health, the threat of blepharitis is one important reason to practice good eye hygiene.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Blepharitis usually affects both eyes. To accurately diagnose and treat eye discomfort, see an eye doctor and schedule regular eye exams. In the meantime, you may be afflicted by blepharitis if you are experiencing:
- Watery eyes.
- Red eyes.
- Burning eyes.
- Greasy eyelids.
- Itchy eyelids.
- Swollen eyelids.
- Crusted eyelashes.
- Flaking of skin around the eye.
- Dandruff-like flakes at the base of the eyelashes.
- Eyelids are sticking together.
- Frequent blinking.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurry vision that improves with blinking.
A warm compress can go a long way for self-care and eye health. If you are experiencing mild discomfort from blepharitis, try placing a warm, damp washcloth over your eyes to soothe the irritation.
If you decide to consult an eye doctor about potential blepharitis, they may prescribe antibiotics or eyelid hygiene treatments to fight the infection or control inflammation.
Blepharitis caused by scalp dandruff or rosacea should be treated in tandem with the underlying condition.
Complications From Blepharitis
Blepharitis is problematic and uncomfortable in and of itself, but leaving it untreated can lead to further complications that can affect vision and eye health. Such complications include:
- Excess tears
- Recurring pink eye (conjunctivitis)
- Injury to the cornea
- Formation of a stye
- Chalazion or swollen eyelid due to oil gland blockage
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