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Blepharitis is a common oily skin condition that overlaps with people with oily skin, dandruff conditions, and dry eye.



What is Blepharitis?

Common symptoms that you may experience include red/ puffy eyelids, mucus in the morning.
Blepharitis, or meibomian gland dysfunction, is an incredibly common condition that affects the eyelids and causes inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis treatment is crucial.
Meibomian glands vertically line the eyelid, and the endings end by the eyelashes. We have more meibomian glands in the upper than the lower eyelid. Meibomian gland dysfunction results from clogged meibomian glands, and leads to red, irritated, itchy eyelids and inflammation of the eyelids. . It contributes to ocular surface disease, and can to worsening dry eye symptoms. Common symptoms include redness of the white part of the eye, tearing, burning, itching, variation in vision, eyelid crusting, eyelid thickening, loss of lashes, and oily dandruff on the lashes. Often, dry eye and blepharitis can overlap. There is a specific type of blepharitis called demodex blepharitis, that is a result of demodex mites living on the base of the eyelashes. Blepharitis treatment is very important.
Both types of blepharitis are not correlated with hygiene, diet, eye makeup, or lifestyle, and are not contagious in any way. You can think of them as a variant of an oily skin condition such as acne. Although it is a chronic condition, it usually comes and goes over the course of several years. Blepharitis treatment such as gently scrubbing over closed eyelids when the blepharitis flares up with baby shampoo or a clean washcloth can help decrease flares.
Treatment initially involves a daily regimen of warm compresses and a hypochlorous foam such as Ocusoft or Avenova on a circular cotton pad or Q tip to remove the excess oil from the eyelids. The heat helps open up the glands and the foam then removes the excess oil. Additional treatments can include drops, ointment, manual expression of the glands (in the office) and an oral antibiotic such as Doxycycline.
Other recommendations include using baby shampoo and warm water on a clean washcloth and gently rubbing over the closed eyelids. Using a cotton swab with either baby shampoo or the foams mentioned above and gently scrubbing over the closed eyelids nightly will help decrease inflammation of the eyelids.
This blepharitis treatment will both remove eye makeup as well as the bacterial infection that is brewing on the untreated blepharitis eyelid.
Dry eye is closely related to blepharitis and by treating blepharitis, a patient can improve the aqueous deficiency component of dry eye. The nightly cleansing will improve the healthy oil production of the meibomian glands which will improve the overall dry eye, and when used in conjunction with other dry eye treatment, specifically artificial tears, is incredibly useful.
Untreated blepharitis can lead to hordeolum, or styes. These are treated also with heat, and with more medicated drops and ointment. A steroid injection helps expedite the recovery, and occasionally an excision is needed. Timely treatment can help prevent a stye from becoming large and more difficult to treat.
Prevention and maintenance of blepharitis is important to not let the disease get out of control and lead to styes. Think about blepharitis treatment like this: 30 seconds nightly of maintenance using any of the following: baby shampoo, warm water, a clean washcloth, artificial tears, and an eye makeup remover if wearing eye makeup. In the same way that one flosses and brushes teeth nightly before going to sleep, preforming this 30 second regiment with a washcloth and gently scrubbing the eyelids will decrease inflammation of the eyelids and decrease blepharitis.

What to Expect?

At Manhattan Eye, Dr. Rapoport provides individualized treatment to each stye and provides a customized prevention plan to ensure that the underlying condition of clogged oil glands is treated and the stye does not recur again. By focusing on a wellness prevention approach, Dr. Rapoport allows for a more conservative treatment plan. Dr. Rapoport also provides Facetime consultation if you are not able to make it into the office for these uncomfortable situations.



Blepharitis with Dr. Rapoport in NYC

Blepharitis is an ongoing (chronic) condition and prevention is key. Dr. Rapoport provides guidance, detailed explanation of the condition, and focuses on keeping his condition under control so it does not flare up leading to styes, red and irritated eyelids, and an unsightly condition. 

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