Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. But with medication and regular eyelid hygiene, you may be able to help to prevent the inflammation from recurring.


Types of blepharitis

There are two types of blepharitis:

Anterior Blepharitis

Usually, blepharitis affects the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes are attached. This is called anterior blepharitis. It happens when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes malfunction, causing inflamed, irritated and itchy eyelids. This results in a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes.

Posterior Blepharitis

Posterior blepharitis affects the inner eyelid and is caused by irregular production in the oil, or meibomian, glands of the eyelids, creating an environment that encourages bacterial growth. Posterior blepharitis can also develop due to another skin condition, such as scalp dandruff or acne rosacea. Like Anterior Blepharitis, you may feel a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes.

Posterior Blepharitis

Reduce inflammation with daily eyelid hygiene

While blepharitis is a chronic condition, you may be able to manage the symptoms with a three-part daily eyelid hygiene routine comprised of warming, massaging and cleansing. This routine is designed to soothe the eyelids, unplug the meibomian glands and clear out stagnant oil secretions. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly and remove any contact lenses before starting the daily eyelid hygiene routine.

Step 1 : Warm the eyelids

Warming the eyelids softens the skin and any crusts attached to the eyelids. It also helps unplug any blocked glands and makes oils more soluble, which allows the oily secretions made by the meibomian glands to flow more freely. To warm the eyelids, close your eyes and press on them gently for 5 to 10 minutes with a flannel (facecloth) soaked in very warm water. If the flannel cools, keep re-warming it with water.

Step 2: Massage the eyelids

After applying warmth, massage the eyelids to help push out the oily fluid from the meibomian glands using the following steps:

  • Close your eyes. Starting with the upper lid, use the pad of your index or middle finger to sweep the eyelid gently but firmly from the inner corner of the eye next to the nose to the outer corner of the eye.
  • Repeat this with the lower lid, placing the pad of the finger just below the lashes in the corner of the eye and sweeping outwards towards the temple.
  • Continue this sweeping massage action 5 to 10 times for about 30 seconds immediately after the warming step.
  • Massage your eyelids in a fashion that is neither too gentle nor too firm. It should be relatively comfortable and you should not press hard enough to actually hurt your eyeballs under the closed lids.

Step 3: Clean the eyelids

After warming and massaging the eyelids, clean them using any of the following methods:

BABY SHAMPOO Add 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. Dip a cotton wool bud in the diluted baby shampoo solution. Squeeze out the excess liquid from the cotton bud to prevent drips from getting into your eyes and causing irritation. In particular, try to clean off any crusts at the base of the eyelids. After cleaning the eyelids with the cotton wool bud, wash the shampoo off the eyelids using a flannel or cloth.

EYELID SCRUBS OR WIPES You can get sterile eyelid scrubs or wipes at some eye clinics and pharmacies. These scrubs and wipes usually have a preservative-free and hypoallergenic formula, which is suitable for adults with sensitive skin. However, not all wipes contain a rinse-free formula and are suitable for use with babies and children. Some wipes contain natural ingredients, such as chamomile, that help to cool and refresh the skin when applied. Be sure to read the instructions for use and its formula before purchase.

BLINK Lid Clean Cleansing Eye Lid Wipes are proven to help thoroughly cleanse your eye lids; reducing the chances of eye lid inflammation. Click here for more information.

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Mayo Clinic. Diseases and Conditions: Blepharitis. Accessed October 27, 2014.
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Jackson WB; Blepharitis: current strategies for diagnosis and management. Can J Ophthalmol. 2008 Apr;43(2):170-9.
Janmejai K Srivastava, Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Report. 2010 November 1; 3(6): 895–901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377. PP2014CN0088 SG Reducing Eyelid Inflammation


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