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What can I do about blepharitis? – Ask an Ophthalmologist

August 28, 2019


Blepharitis happens when bacterial growth causes flakes to build up at the base of the eyelashes. Your eyelids may also be swollen, red and
itchy. It’s a very common problem. While blepharitis has no cure, you can treat
symptoms at home and get help from your ophthalmologist. Good eyelid hygiene is very important. If you have blepharitis, wash your eyelids
every day with baby shampoo. Wash your hair and eyebrows with an antibacterial
soap to reduce bacteria growth. Warm compresses often help, and you can use
them as often as needed to make you more comfortable. Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and
wring it out until it’s not dripping. Make sure the water isn’t too hot. Close your eyes and put the washcloth over
them for at least 1 minute. You can re-wet the washcloth with warm water
and do this for a few minutes at a time. The washcloth treatment can help loosen the
flakes that are stuck around your eyelashes and calm down some of the itching and burning. Warm compresses also help keep the oil glands
in your eyelids open and functioning correctly. Keeping these oil glands open can reduce dry
eye symptoms, which are associated with an increased risk for blepharitis. Your ophthalmologist may also prescribe additional
treatments — including antibiotic pills or antibiotic ointments for your eyes — which
may help. In some cases, lubricating eye drops, steroid
eye drops or antibiotic eye drops may be recommended. If you are prescribed anything, make sure
to follow the instructions carefully. Managing blepharitis is an ongoing process. Talk to your ophthalmologist about what’s
recommended for your specific case.

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