If you've been waking up with eyelashes that are glued together. Or, you've noticed a crusty build-up around your eyes in the morning, you may be suffering from an eye condition called blepharitis. This condition won't damage your vision, but it is definitely uncomfortable.
What It Is
Blepharitis is the inflammation of your eyelids. One of the first things you'll notice about the disease is that your eyelids become red and swollen, especially the edges around your eye. Some other symptoms you may experience include:
Tears that are frothy or bubbly
Flaky patches around the eyes
The appearance of dandruff around your eye lashes
What Causes It
There are actually several different causes of blepharitis. Blepharitis can be caused by infections – most often from using contaminated mascara or other eye make-up, allergies and head lice. Skin disorders such as rosacea and eczema can increase your risk of developing blepharitis.
If you've developed blepharitis, there are some minor complications you should be aware of. Some of the complications you should watch out for include:
The human eye has tiny oil glands located around the eyelid. Blepharitis can cause these oil glands to clog up. When that happens, the oil can be secreted, which causes a blockage. If your oil glands become blocked due to blepharitis, you may develop a painful sty on the edge of your eye.
Ulceration of the Cornea
Blepharitis causes a grainy discharge around your eyes. Each time you blink, your eye lid rubs against the discharge, which can cause tiny sores or ulcerations to develop on your cornea.
Conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, is another painful complication that's often associated with blepharitis. Chronic conjunctivitis is a condition in which your eyes will repeatedly become red, swollen and itchy. You may also develop a yellowish discharge from the corners of your eyes.
How to treat it
Luckily, there are some things you can do to treat blepharitis and make the symptoms less uncomfortable.
Clean Your Eyes
While you're going through the symptoms of blepharitis, you'll need to keep your eyes as clean as possible. This is particularly important first thing in the morning, when your eyes will be crusted over.
Soak two soft cloths in very warm water and wring them out well.
Cover each eye with a separate cloth and leave them in place for about 10 minutes.
Beginning with the right eye, gently rub the cloth over your eyelid to remove the crust.
Repeat the process on the left eye.
Treat the Allergy
If your optometrist has determined that the blepharitis was caused by an allergy, you'll need to treat the allergy symptoms as well. Eye drops for allergies will help reduce the itching and inflammation, which will help your eyes heal faster.
If you've got blepharitis, it won't harm your vision. However, it will leave your eyes feeling slightly uncomfortable for a few days. The information listed here will help you understand what the condition is, and how to treat it.