Overview of this FAQ
This FAQ is a work in progress and is in beta mode. It has been founded by the Blepharitis Support Forumand is intended to be a comprehensive FAQ for blepharitis. Anyone may contribute so long as improvement is intended, and information is factual. Please cite references when needed.
Refrain from using this FAQ as a source of reference until it is released from beta.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is chronic inflammation of the eyelids. It is characterized by white, flaky skin near the eyelashes. It usually causes redness of the eyes, itching, and irritation of the eyelids.
'Blepharitis' is a term for a very generic problem. It is very commonly diagnosed when any prolonged problems exist with the eyelids, with causes, symptoms, and solutions varying between individuals. In effect, there is a level of uncertainty in
dealing with the problem. There are 2 types of blepharitis, with 3 main causes (See chart below):
Anterior blepharitis affects the outside of the eyelids, and posterior blepharitis affects the meibomian glands, the inner part of the eyelids.
Blepharitis is also known as granulated eyelids.
The broad principal treatment for blepharitis is good eyelid hygiene. Although a complete cure is not known, it has shown that treatment results may vary due to the generic nature of blepharitis. Keeping it under control, or sending it into remission, is the most realistic treatment expectation.
Related eye diseases
In no particular order, the following eye diseases can contribute to blepharitis (and vice versa):
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
Dry Eye Syndrome
Droopy Eyelid Syndrome
1. Allergy treatments- some sufferers of Blepharitis have had success treating Blepharitis as an allergic response. Patanol, a prescription ocular antihistamine used by allergists, has shown some success treating blepharitis symptoms, particularly in the higher dosage prescribed under the name "Pataday." Suffers whose blepharitis is controlled by antihistamines should also consider allergy testing and allergy inoculations, as well as oral antihistamines such as Allegra.
2. Antifungal shampoos- some early research suggested that antifungal shampoos such as Selsun blue were successful at curing blepharitis. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1312591
And at least one case report suggests a cure using antifungal cremes:
Similar claims have appeared on internet forums:
However, these products have not been approved for use on the eyelashes and the directions for use indicate that they should not be used in the eye.
3. Saline rinse- some sufferers have found that rinsing the eyes regularly with preservative free saline is helpful. Very few saline solutions are entirely preservative free, but Alcon's Unisol 4 is preservative free.
Washing the eye with anti-bacterial soap or baby shampoo is supposed to help.
Current research and clinical trials
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