WHY ARE MY EYELIDS SWOLLEN AND INFLAMED?

Dr. Jim Martin 05/30/2014

man_rubbing_eyes.jpgBlepharitis is a type of eyelid inflammation that leads to what many refer to as eyelid dandruff. It is similar to eczema, but localized on your eyelids. There are two types of inflammation. One is caused by irritation (Seborrheic); one by bacteria (Staph). The irritation-based form is usually reactionary. It can be caused by exposure to substances or a change in your environment. The latter form is the most common scenario. This article will review the basic information about this infection.

What Can Be Done For Swollen Eyelids?

Blepharitis has some tell-tale and very visible symptoms. Your eyelid may become irritated. The skin on the lid looks raw and flakes easily. It’s not uncommon for dead skin to build up in your eyelashes. It’s important to keep this build up out of your eyes; it can cause vision obstruction.

Generally, if the condition is mild or reactionary, it is treated by using warm compresses. Once you are out of contact with allergens, pet dander, and other irritants; the condition should improve and subside. If the condition is related to bacteria or cancer treatments,  an eye care specialist will put you on a special regimen to maintain your eye health.

The staph bacteria that causes the most common type of Blepharitis naturally occurs within your body. The inflammatory response is triggered when too much of a good thing is present. The excess is released during a flare-up. The bacterium often leaves your eyes looking red, puffy, scaly, and caked in discharge that is green or yellow in color. Your eyelids will feel greasy or waxy.

If the problem persists or worsens, it can cause scarring, loss of eyelashes or diminished vision. A physician can refer you to an optometrist if the condition does not improve within several days.  

Do I Need To Have My Eyes Examined?

An eye care specialist will evaluate your case to see what type of eyelid inflammation you have. It helps them to know if you have allergies, sensitivities, dietary changes, or other skin conditions. Lifestyle information also makes a difference. The inflammation has been known to be a response to stress or hormonal changes as well.

Luckily, the bacterium or cancer treatment cases make the diagnostic exam easier. Often times your specialist will recommend boosting your daily compress treatment; especially if the inflammation has not been responding or has worsened over a relatively short period of time.

That “boost” is usually eye scrubs with baby shampoo, specially formulated cleansers, anti-bacterial creams or ointments, and also oral antibiotics to reduce the inflammation. It is also a good idea to use artificial tears during your treatment cycle. That way, you avoid adding dry eye syndrome to your list of ailments. When you find the right treatment balance, Blepharitis should clear up quickly.

As always, if you experience any change to your vision or eye function, or you have a sudden loss of vision; please contact your eye care specialists right away. This could be a sign of an underlying condition or secondary health problem.

Blepharitis is an unsightly and uncomfortable eye condition, but it can be managed and brought under control. At Broome Optical, we believe “Life is worth seeing."  Please contact our Amarillo eye care center if you are experiencing any eye discomfort and irritation so we can determine the right treatment plan.

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