At Visioncall, we believe in better overall eye health to help our patients see better and live better. 

Good eyesight and good eye health are two separate entities, both equally important to a better lifestyle. 

Visioncall empowers care home partners and patients to take care of both eyesight and eye health, with our expert guidance and treatment available to whoever needs it, whenever it’s required.

Eye health conditions can strike at any time, and one common condition is blepharitis. But what is this condition, and how is it treated?

The facts

Blepharitis is a mild bacterial infection of the eyelids, which causes inflammation and swelling.

It may be associated with some common skin conditions, such as dandruff, extremely dry or excessively oily skin.

Blepharitis is a common condition that can affect anyone of any age, but it’s most commonly found in those aged over 50. 

Blepharitis is usually a chronic condition, which means that most sufferers will experience repeated episodes, followed by periods with no symptoms at all.

It’s not a contagious condition; you can’t catch blepharitis from someone who is experiencing symptoms.

Blepharitis isn’t usually a serious condition, but it can be uncomfortable for patients and may make it difficult to wear contact lenses while symptoms are present.

What is it like?

Blepharitis is relatively easy to spot, with the most common symptoms including:

  • The rims of the eyelids become red
  • Whitish scales sticking to the roots of the eyelashes
  • Burning, sore or itchy eyes and eyelids
  • Although uncommon, blepharitis can also cause cysts in the eyelids

How can it be treated?

Blepharitis is a chronic condition that requires repeated, long-term treatment. 

You may not see improvements for several weeks, but you must treat the condition appropriately, or symptoms will persist.

Recommended treatment for blepharitis is in three stages. Treatment is required twice daily in the first instance, then reduced gradually over weeks.

Step one: Soak a flannel in a water solution with either baby shampoo or anti-dandruff shampoo – this shouldn’t be too hot, just warm to the touch. 

The flannel should be held against the eyelids gently for a few minutes to help the oils in the eyelid glands to flow freely again.

Step two: Dip a cotton bud into the warm shampoo solution, and gently wipe this along the strip between the eyelashes and the white of the eye, on both the upper and lower eyelids. 

This will remove dead bacteria and help dislodge any scales from the rims of the eyelid and eyelashes.

Step three: Finally, a brolene ointment should be applied to the eyelashes, smearing this gently across them to coat them fully. 

A small drop should also be applied to the eye to help kill off any remaining bacteria. Brolene is purchasable at a pharmacy without a prescription, but you can speak to your pharmacist, GP or optometrist for more advice.

If the condition does not appear to be improving following the recommended treatment, you should consult an optometrist or a GP.

If you are concerned about changes in your vision and eye health or a resident or relative, please don’t hesitate to contact Visioncall for guidance.

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