Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids which can occur in people of all ages and can become chronic.
What to look for
The eyelids become red, irritated and scaly, commonly the eyes themselves may become painful and even red and inflamed. Crusting and painful lids are the most common feature, and if this is left untreated the flakes of skin can fall into the eyes, leading to conjunctivitis. In most cases the condition is not serious, and many people with dandruff and other skin conditions suffer some constant blepharitis. However in more severe cases the roots of the eyelashes may become infected, causing small ulcers to develop, and the lashes may fall out or grow at abnormal angles so that the eyelashes rub against the eyeball, causing considerable distress and pain; the eyelid margins damaged to the extent that the eyelash roots are destroyed altogether.
People who suffer from atopy often experience regular recurrences of blepharitis and in this case the cause is allergic. Those suffering from skin conditions are also likely to be affected. The cause of blepharitis is inflammatory, not infectious, but lids may become secondarily infected as a result of rubbing, in which case styes may result.
The treatment offered by a nutritional therapist will be aimed at the immune system in order to prevent infection and recurrent allergy.
When to seek further professional advice
If you think you might have blepharitis you should see a doctor so that he may treat your condition appropriately.
Alternative Treatments include Homeopathy, Kinesiology, Western and Chinese Herbalism, and the Metamorphic Technique.
Mild cases of blepharitis can sometimes be cleared up by simply removing the scaly skin morning and night with cotton wool dipped in warm water. Although cleaning with various agents including diluted baby shampoo or sodium bicarbonate is often recommended it is the physical removal of the crusts which enables healthy skin to grow back normally. If dandruff is present, using an anti-dandruff shampoo may alleviate the blepharitis. Medical treatment is usually aimed at easing the inflammation, in some cases by the use of steroid ointments which have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Eyedrops can ease the irritation but will not prevent the blepharitis from recurring.
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