What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common, chronic inflammatory condition which affects the eyelids. Some people are more likely than others to develop blepharitis; it particularly affects those with rosacea, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis. It tends to come and go in waves, and while there’s no absolute cure for blepharitis, there are ways of managing it.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
Both anterior (irritated eyelash follicles) and posterior blepharitis (irritation of the inner edge of the eyelid) can cause itching, irritation, inflammation and soreness on the eyelids and eye. Eyes can feel gritty, stinging or painful; they can be red and watery, or dry. Blepharitis can cause swelling of the eyelids, blocked ducts, flaking skin, and crusting which can make eyes hard to open in the morning.
How bad can it get?
Left untreated, blepharitis can cause quite a few serious problems:
- Pain and itchiness can be debilitating and distracting, making it hard to concentrate
- Blocked ducts can lead to painful chalazions and styes
- Having red itchy eyes can make people self-conscious or upset about their appearance
- Eyelashes can fall out
- impaired tear duct functioning can lead to corneal damage
- Red or watery eyes can lead people to make false assumptions about alcoholism
- Having sore, dry eyes can make working at a screen difficult, so it can impact your working life
- Blurred vision
- Eyelid scarring or damage to the way eyelashes grow
So, while the condition itself isn’t generally severe, it can have problematic and debilitating consequences, especially if left untreated.
How to manage blepharitis
Blepharitis can often be managed by setting up a regular cleaning regime, although severe cases might need antibiotics to clear up any bacterial infection. Here’s our five step blepharitis routine:
- Heat: place a hot compress or eye bag over your eyes for five minutes to warm the area
- Massage: massage very gently around the eyelashes to dislodge crusts and unblock ducts
- Clean: use a fresh, clean cotton bud dipped in diluted Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash (add a drop to a egg-cup of warm water) to clean the area around the eyelashes and eyelids
- Soothe: apply Skin Salvation to protect and soothe irritation around your eyelids
- Protect: massage a small amount of Balmonds Tea Tree Balm into your eyelashes (there’s good evidence to suggest that 5% tea tree ointment can prevent mites from breeding and aggravating blepharitis)
As part of your daily cleansing routine, swap your foaming or scented make-up remover for an oil-based cleanser, like Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil, which is much less likely to irritate your eyelids.
If the condition persists, doesn’t improve or gets worse after a week of this regime, consult a doctor or pharmacist; you may have to be prescribed antibiotic eye drops.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile
Balmonds Tea Tree Balm
balm with tea tree essential oil and beeswax
Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
with rosehip and calendula
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.