Blepharitis, sometimes known as grainy eyelids, is an inflammation of the outer part of the eyelids where the eyelashes start. It is a relatively common condition that sometimes does not respond fully to treatment. In these cases it is known as chronic blepharitis. The symptoms of blepharitis are itching and burning with some mild foreign body irritation, tearing and crusting around the eyes and eyelashes upon awakening. There may be some mild pain as well. This may cause the eyes to look bloodshot. The edges of the eyelids may appear red, as if there had been crying. Blepharitis can be caused by a number of bacterias such as staph or strep or can be related to dandruff or seborrhea. The white of the eyes may have a red appearance and there may be a mild mucus discharge as well.
Treatment of blepharitis may include the following:
Eyelid cleaning and warm compresses can be reduced to once per day as the condition improves. However, many patients have to maintain good lid hygiene for an indefinite period.
Patients typically complain of severe or sharp pain in the eye oftentimes upon awakening. Some patients are awakened from sleep, but the pain occurs when the eyelids are rubbed or opened. Most commonly, this follows an injury to the eye which caused a corneal abrasion. The recurrent corneal erosion can happen weeks to months after the initial injury.
Sometimes it can also be seen in patients who have corneal dystrophies of the front or middle area of the cornea. It can also occur following radial keratotomy or cataract surgery. Treatment may consist of antibiotic drops and pressure patching. After the scratch is healed, artificial tears and lubricating ointment will be used at night. Most patients respond well to this type of treatment. Some patients who continue to have problems may require laser intervention or fine-needle punctures of the cornea.
The vitreous is a clear liquid that fills our eyes and gives them shape. When we are young, the vitreous has a thick, gelatinous consistency and is firmly attached to the retina. As we age, the vitreous thins and separates from the retina, which can sometimes lead to a tearing or detaching of the retina. Retinal detachment can cause significant, permanent vision loss and requires immediate medical treatment.
If a torn or detached retina is suspected, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. Your doctor will examine your eye with an ophthalmoscope and may also perform ultrasonography in order to reach an accurate diagnosis.
To prevent permanent vision loss, the retina must be quickly reattached. Treatment for retinal detachment can be done through surgery or laser photocoagulation. These procedures can preserve vision and also allow for a return of lost vision in some patients.