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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:

  • Lid hygiene: daily application of warm compresses to the eyelids, followed by massage and cleaning of the lid margins with commercial lid scrubs or face cloth or cotton-tipped applicator with diluted baby shampoo is helpful in loosening the scales and other debris on the eyelashes. It also helps  with obstruction of the oil-secreting glands
  • Antibiotics
  • Nutritional supplements: such as oral flaxseed oil/fish oils(omega 3) are used to treat abnormal secretions of the oil glands that help to lubricate your eye.
  • Good hygiene
  • Use of cyclosporine(Restasis)
  • Treat associated diseases such as rosacea and dry eye

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.

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