Blepharitis is when you have bacteria and oily flakes at the base of your eyelashes.
Symptoms of blepharitis include when your eyelids are red, swollen, or feel like they are burning.
Everyone has bacteria on their skin; however, some people have more bacteria at the base of their eyelashes. This can cause dandruff-like flakes to form. Also, some people have problems with oil glands in their eyelids, leading to blepharitis.
Blepharitis is a chronic, or ongoing, condition. There are ways to treat its symptoms. Treatments include:
- Warm compresses: Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and wring it out until somewhat dry. Place the washcloth over your closed eyes for at least 1 minute. Wet the washcloth as often as needed so it stays warm. This will help loosen the flakes sticking around your eyelashes. It also helps keep nearby oil glands from clogging.
- Eyelid scrubs: Soak a clean washcloth, cotton swab, or lint-free pad in warm water. Then use it to gently scrub the base of your eyelashes. Scrub for about 15 seconds.
- Antibiotic ointment: Your ophthalmologist may have you use an antibiotic ointment on your eyes. Put a small amount of ointment on a clean fingertip or a cotton swab. Gently apply the ointment to the base of your eyelashes. Do this just before bed, or as your doctor recommends.
- Eye drops: Artificial tears or steroid eye drops may reduce redness, swelling and dry eye. Your ophthalmologist might prescribe an antibiotic eye drop to help the oil glands work better.
- Skin and eyelid hygiene: It is very important to keep your eyelids, skin and hair clean. This keeps your blepharitis symptoms under control. Carefully wash your eyelashes every day with baby shampoo. Also, wash your hair, scalp and eyebrows with an antibacterial shampoo.
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