Blepharitis is a term used to describe an inflammation of the eyelids. This inflammation is normally on both the upper and lower eyelids and usually occurs around the eyelid rim where the eyelashes are located. In such situation, the glands that produce oil around the eyelashes can slightly be affected.
There are many different underlying causes of blepharitis. It can be caused by bacteria, parasites, or a fungal infection of the skin around the eyes. If you have an allergy, such as a reaction to your eye makeup, you may get blepharitis.
Can Makeup Cause Blepharitis?
The answer is yes, as well as your favorite bronzers, eyeliners and lipsticks. Your make-up bag also harbors some potentially harmful bacteria. A study once conducted at London Metropolitan University found up to six types of bacteria on makeup brushes and out-of-date cosmetics.
When it comes to your eyesight, most eye makeup, especially eyeliner, can cause blepharitis because it blocks the eyelid's meibomian glands and reduces the secretion of oils needed on the surface of the eye, causing tears to evaporate too quickly.
One of the most significant symptoms of blepharitis is pain in either your eyelids or eyes. The pain usually remains at fairly steady levels throughout the period of the eyelid inflammation. However, it can occasionally escalate, causing sudden intense pain that stops quickly. People who have experienced blepharitis said the pain felt like their eyes are burning or stinging. The location of this type of eye pain will depend on the type of blepharitis a person has.
2. Eyelid Redness
When a person has blepharitis, the inflammation usually causes reddened skin along both the upper and lower eyelids. It occurs in a thin line of roughly ¼ of a centimeter around the eyes. If the condition is associated with a blockage, the reddened eyelid skin may expand to the entire eye socket or create a circular area of redness around the main source of blockage. The inner rim of your eyelid and the pink triangle of flesh at the inner corner of the eye can also become reddened, depending on the type of blepharitis a person has.
3. Eyelid Irritation
In addition to general pain and redness of the eyelids, many people with blepharitis end up feeling like their eyes are constantly irritated. This feels like their eyes and eyelids are itchy, like smoke or onion fumes are constantly getting in the eye and irritating the surface.
4. Puffy or Swollen Eyelids
Generally, inflammation usually results in swelling, because more fluid rushes to the infected area. When this type of swelling occurs along the eyelids, it can be very inconvenient and uncomfortable. Some patients sometimes get a little puffiness that is barely noticeable. Others may experience so much puffiness that the skin around their eyes is tight and very uncomfortable, especially when they blink.
Some of the time, the puffiness can be so bad that it affects the person's vision. Swelling usually concentrates in areas with oil gland blockage and may be worse first thing in the morning upon waking.
5. Blurred Vision
In most cases of blepharitis this a rare symptom. If the eyes are either very dry or very watery, your vision might begin to seem a little blurry. When this happens, everything will look fuzzy, objects far away will be hard to see, thin lines will appear less distinct or not seen at all, and colors might be muted. Some people with blepharitis will experience temporary blurriness, while some others may have almost constant blurriness.
Applying or taking antibiotics for the eyelid have been proven to provide relief for the symptoms and fight the bacterial infection of the eyelids. Antibiotics are available in different forms, including eye drops, creams and ointments. If the above step doesn’t work, you may want to talk to your doctor about an antibiotic drop or ointment.
3. Medications to control inflammation
To control rapid growth of inflammation around the eyes, steroid eye drops or ointments applied into and around the eyes can reduce the chances of inflammation. Some doctors may prescribe combination antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs.
4. Medications that affect the immune system
Topical cyclosporine (Restasis) is a calcineurin inhibitor that has proven to offer relief to some signs and symptoms of blepharitis, especially when associated with dry eyes.
Treatments for underlying conditions
Blepharitis caused by seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea or any other diseases may be controlled and eradicated by treating the underlying disease first.