This page will review the chronic eyelid disease called Blepharitis, Blepharitis Treatment, Chalazion, Stye. It will also review treatment of Blepharitis to help prevent the development of chalazion and styes. Chalazion, stye and hordeolum refer to infected oil glands in the eyelid.
Blepharitis, Chalazion, Stye: A Cause of Eyelid Irritation, Swelling and Redness
Blepharitis is a common and persistent inflammation of the eyelids which can cause a chalazion or stye to form. Symptoms can include irritation, burning, watering and occasionally, a red eye.
This condition frequently occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin, dandruff, or dry eyes. Blepharitis can occur at any age and can persist as a chronic condition.
Bacteria reside on the surface of everyone’s skin, but in certain individuals they thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes.
The resulting irritation, sometimes associated with over-activity of nearby oil glands, causes dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.
Sometimes the scaling or bacteria produce only minor irritation and itching, but they may cause redness, stinging or burning. Some people may develop sensitivity to the scales or to the bacteria which surround them. This can lead to a more serious complication-inflammation of the eye tissues, particularly the cornea (the clear front window of the eye).
Blepharitis Treatment – Primary treatment for Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a condition that may not be cured, but can be controlled with a few simple daily measures:
Once a day, wet a washcloth with comfortably warm water, wrings it out, and places over the closed eyelids for a minute
The warm compress softens the skin and loosens crusts attached to the eyelids. It warms up clogged oil secretions of meibomian glands allowing them to flow more freely, as heat melts the clogged oils. Five to ten minutes is adequate.
Rewet it as it cools, two or three times. This will soften and loosen scales and debris. More importantly, it helps liquefy the oily secretions from the eyelids’ oil glands that help prevent the development of a chalazion, an inflamed lump in an eyelid oil gland. A potato is often a good hot compress; place it in the microwave to heat it up.the application of warmth and detailed cleansing of the lashes daily is the key to controlling Blepharitis.
With your finger covered with a thin washcloth, cotton swab, or commercial lint-free pad, gently scrub the base of the lashes. The traditional way teaching suggests either a cotton pad or tip dipped in solution with diluted baby shampoo. A few drops of baby shampoo to a small cup of warm water so that the ratio of water to shampoo is about 10:1. Squeeze out excess liquid from the cotton bud to prevent drips getting into your eyes
Eyelid Massage, Eyelid Wash to reduce severity and attacks of Blepharitis and recurrence of Chalazion or Styes:
Simple, daily hygienic measures will minimize Blepharitis and its symptoms:
about 15 seconds per lid. Massaging should neither to be too gentle nor too firm. It should not be uncomfortable. Regular massage and warm compresses can help in drainage of the sebaceous secretion and therefore decrease occurrence or recurrence of chalazion. Maintaining good lid hygiene may also be beneficial.
Commercial Preparations for eyelid washing:
If you find the Johnson Baby shampoo treatment plan too time consuming you may instead consider commercial eyelid scrubs
If an antibiotic ointment has been prescribed, apply a dab at the base of the lashes (usually at bedtime), using your fingertip or a cotton swab.
Artificial tears may be used to relieve symptoms of dry eye. (These are available without a prescription.)
Steroid eye drops may be used short-term to decrease inflammation.
Antibiotic ointment or antibiotic pills may be used to decrease the bacterial content of the eyelids.
Medications alone are not sufficient
Stye – Chalazion- Hordeolum
Stye – Chalazion- Hordeolum represent bacterial infections of the eyelid.
Management of Stye and Chalazion:
Small, asymptomatic chalazion can be left untreated.
Conservative treatment including lid massage, a warm compress and steroid eyedrops can also be used.
Oral tetracyclines (such as doxycycline) can be considered in recurrent cases. Other options include erythromycin ointment or Azithromycin gel.
Surgical treatment may be considered in case of unresolved chalazion or symptomatic chalazion. Incision and drainage is the treatment of choice.
Local anaethestics are injected to the area surrounding the bump.
The eyelid is then everted with special eyelid holder and incision is made. Contents of chalazion are removed. Since the operation is done on the inside of the eyelid, no scar will be seen.
Surgical follow up
The lid may still take several weeks to completely resolve.
Blepharitis, Blepharitis Treatment, Chalazion, Stye – Prognosis:
Excellent but recurrence is common.