Vision is an important aspect of the human body, and without one’s eyesight it becomes nearly impossible to perform daily tasks effectively. Blepharitis and conjunctivitis are two such conditions that can disrupt the smooth functioning of human eyesight.
Although the symptoms and the reasons for the onslaught of these diseases appear similar, there are differences in both of these conditions.
Let’s discuss the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of blepharitis and conjunctivitis to reach a final verdict.
Have you ever experienced sore eyelids or some degree of eyelid crustiness? If yes, the reason, most likely, is that there is either an overgrowth of bacteria on the eyelids, anterior blepharitis, or the tiny oil glands located on your eyelids are clogged by posterior blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.
Earlier, the common notion about blepharitis was that it is more prevalent in the elderly, but recent surveys lead to contradict that when they revealed that it has become more common with younger individuals, even children.
There are various issues that prove to be common blepharitis symptoms:
• Eyes: the eyes may appear more red than normal, have some burning sensation, and be more watery
• Eyelids: swelling in the eyelids, itchiness, sticky eyelids, feeling like your eyelids are crusted together, and when your eyelids stick together during sleep.
• Others: sensitivity to light, higher frequency of blinking, and loss of eyelashes.
All these symptoms may indicate the prevalence of blepharitis in an individual.
• Dandruff: a common cause of Blepharitis is the excessive amount of dandruff or scurf on the eyelashes and eyebrows, also called Seborrheic dermatitis.
• Bacteria: bacteria overgrows in the eyelid area, which leads to inflammation, redness, and scurf on the eyelids and eyelashes. This can also lead to stye formation. A stye is also a symptom of blepharitis.
• Allergies: a simple allergy to some medication or a reaction due to any allergic sensitivity.
Is blepharitis the same as conjunctivitis?
The answer is no because conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the conjunctiva, can be a result of blepharitis. A person experiences blepharitis on his/her eyelids, which can lead to abnormal tears, which can then lead to conjunctivitis down the road.
When compared with blepharitis, conjunctivitis is the condition in which there is inflammation of the thin membrane present on the surface of the eyes called the conjunctiva. Inside this thin membrane is a space that can fill with fluid if inflammation is present from such causes as bacteria (red, goopy eyes), allergies (red, watery eyes), viruses (watery, pink eyes), dry eyes (red, gritty eyes), and other problems with the front of the eye.
The most common reasons for conjunctivitis can be bacteria or a virus. Bacterial conjunctivitis is most commonly caused by Staphylococcus, and this bacterial conjunctivitis is a cause for excessive goopy, yellow discharge and redness in the eye.
Pink eye, or viral conjunctivitis appears as a “pink” eye that has a lot of watery discharge. The most important aspect to consider is that viral conjunctivitis, or “pink eye”, is highly contagious, whereas blepharitis is not contagious.
It is strongly advised that before things turn more serious, you should go see a doctor to get proper treatment.
Blepharitis treatment and that for conjunctivitis is similar to some extent. The everyday precautions for them are similar, but the difference is in the medication for them. Conjunctivitis is a condition related to the outer membrane of the eye and needs separate medication, whereas blepharitis requires care of the eyelids and eyelashes.
The self-care treatment for both conditions is as follows:
1. Reduce touching the eyes and eyelids without washing your hands, and wash your hands after touching the eyes and eyelids.
3. For Blepharitis, the flaking develops a thick crust on the eyelids, and this won’t allow you to open the eyes after sleeping for some time. Remove the flaking by gently compressing the eyes with a warm compress followed by step two above, cleaning with a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser.
Never take medication without a doctor’s prescription, as without proper diagnoses you do not know whether the infection is bacterial or caused by a virus, or if it is due to some allergy... ergo consult a doctor before trying any treatment.
Lastly, to answer your question is blepharitis the same as conjunctivitis?
No, it is not. It must be evident by now these two conditions may seem similar to each other, but there are differences in their location, symptoms, causes, and treatment.