Blepharitis Eye Condition – Causes and Treatment

Blepharitis  is an inflammation forming around your eyelid margins. Though this eye  condition is not sight threatening, it can cause discomfort, and in most cases is  often a chronic condition.

With many patients the condition has been present for sometime before symptoms manifest themselves.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

  • Eyelids become inflamed and red coloured
  • A crusting can form around the eyelid
  • Discomfort caused by itchiness
  • Sensations that something is in our eye like grit
  • Burning sensation

Treatments for Blepharitis

Treatments mostly involve increasing your level of hygiene to remove the inflammation.  It is not a cure but will help to ease the redness and discomfort.

Normally you will see and feel a difference 4-6 week after your treatment begins.  It is essential that you refrain from rubbing your eye and that you persevere throughout.

Eyelid Cleansing – an Effective Blepharitis Treatment

  • Step 1 – Hold a hot clean flannel to your affected eye for five minutes.  Should the flannel cool down, heat it up in hot water.  Microwavable hot – compress can assist you in this procedure.  The idea is that the hot water will melt the oil in blocked glands, and loosen crusts which may have formed.
  • Step 2 – Massage your eyelids by rolling your fingers across your eyelid from your nose to your temple.  This should be done for both your upper and lower eyelids and care should be taken that you do not touch the inside of your eyelid.
  • Step 3 – Using cotton buds clean any crusts around the roots of your eye lashes.  You can also use eyelid wipes and cleaning foams for this purpose too.  Practice the treatment once per day.  Under no circumstances should you touch the inside of your eyelid.

Sometime stronger treatments are required.  See below:

  • Antibiotics – A doctor may proscribe antibiotic treatment for Blepharitis.  If this is the case, apply it after you have applied the previous three steps, and simply use a cotton bud or the tip of your clean finger to gently rub the cream into the tip of your lashes on both your top and bottom eye lid.  This should be done nightly for two weeks, and the twice a week for a further ten weeks.
  • Steroid eye drops – For severe cases you may be treated with steroid based eye drops.  Always follow instructions of the prescribing medical professionals to the letter.
  • Artificial Tears – Again if your specialist has proscribed these follow instructions precisely
  • Flax Seed or Omega 3 Oil Capsules – These capsules improve the quality of the oil produced by your glands and prevents evaporation and as such brings relief.  Available without prescription, these should be taken when you eat breakfast and your meal in the evening.

Coping with Blepharitis

It is a good idea not to wear makeup when you have an outbreak of the condition as this prevents good hygiene.  The condition tends to reoccur from time to time.

If you have any issues with blepharitis please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice.  And don’t forget your regular eye check.  Visit this page if you want to make an appointment.

Image: NHS

Learn About Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

What is Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

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Amblyopia is the most common cause of vision problems in children

“Lazy Eye” is the term people tend to use when they are talking about amblyopia. Suffers of amblyopia often have a squint, or the eyelid can droop over the affected eye. It is not just your appearance however, that the condition affects. Lazy eye predominately affects your vision. Amblyopia occurs when poor or no visual transmissions are received by your brain from the affected eye. The eye in all other respects tends to be healthy.

Causes of Lazy Eye

The condition is caused when something disrupts normal vision development. Often it is assumed that young children have the same eyesight as adults, but this is not the case. Children’s brains have to develop over three to five years to produce adult vision standards of the eye nerve signals that are sent to the brain.

If something disrupts one of the eyes development, the quality of the signals becomes disrupted and this affects the  image “seen” by the brain.This effectively shuts off or reduces visual transmission from the affected eye. The abnormality can be present at birth or it can be caused by one of the following:

• Congenital cataracts: This is when cloudy patches form in our visual field due to protein build-up in our eye lens. The brain may search for the strongest visual field and ‘switch off’ the weakest visual field to avoid confusion.

• Unequal refractive errors in both eyes (anisometropia): Should refractive errors be present in both eyes, the brain can ‘switch off’ the visual signals coming from the worse eye and thus amblyopia takes hold.

• Suffers of Strabismus: Strabismus is a condition where eyes are misaligned with one another. Again, amblyopia may form as the brain searches for the strongest visual field and shuts down the weakest for clarity.

Treatments for Lazy Eye

Treatment involves making the amblyopic (lazy) eye work harder to see.. This can be done by applying a patch over the dominant eye with better vision, or through another means of temporarily occluding or blurring vision in the better eye.

Once the condition is treated it is important to also address any underlying condition through either surgical means in the case of cataracts, or by using glasses and or contact lenses to offset refractive errors.

The treatments of amblyopia are more effective the younger they are applied.  Untreated amblyopia can lead to poor depth perception, reduced acuity, and low sensitivity to contrast. It can also affect appearance when the cause is from an uncorrected squint (strabismus).

Note on Children and Amblyopia

As children do not have a frame of reference for how they should be seeing, for them amblyopia can be unremarkable. It is important that you look for the facial signs of the condition drooping eye lid, squints, etc, and bring them to be eye tested if you suspect they may have a “Lazy Eye”. Regular eye examinations should be on your calendar for all your child from the earliest pre school years,just  like appointments with the dentist.

The earlier the condition is detected, the better visual results can be obtained. Visit our contact page here today to make an eye examination appointment for your child.

6 Essential Eye Health Tips

Keeping our Eyes Healthy

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Regular eye tests, exercise, and a good diet all help to keep our vision working at optimal levels

Often we take for granted the health of our eyes. Whereas other body parts we are always exploring, monitoring, cleaning, and visiting a professional about should we feel something is wrong, eyes on the other hand are just there in our heads. This is a mistake. As one of the most complex organs in our body, and one of the five senses, the eye serves multiple functions as well as helping us to see.

The health of our eyes is a good indicator to our overall health.

This post provides guidance on how to keep your eyes healthy.

Diet and Eyesight

The better your diet, the healthier your eyes will be. This has been established in many studies, and our eyes respond well to vitamins A, C, and E. They also benefit from lutein – rich foods such as green vegetables such as spinach and kale, and other foods such as eggs. Lutein – rich foods help us absorb harmful light wavelengths which can damage our eyes.

Exercise and Eyesight

Exercise improves our circulation and as such better blood flow is great for our eyes. Regular exercise is also very good for your heart, your muscles, helps to combat a range of health issues, and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Hygiene and Your Eyes

Ideally, you want to get in the habit of using face wipes to clean your eyes, the same way you use a toothbrush to clean your teeth. Eyes work best when they are dirt, grit, and oil free. Regular cleansing will ensure that your risk of an eye related disease lessens.

Regular Eye Tests

Eye tests are not just about your vision, but your overall health. Often conditions such as diabetes are detected via eye tests, and so regular tests will ensure any conditions you may have are caught early on, and treated accordingly. As well as ensuring your vision remains 20/20.

Contact Lenses and Eye Health

If you find your eyes tend to dry out while wearing contact lenses, apply eye drops (suitable for use whilst wearing contact lenses) to help soothe the irritation. Your eyes need to be kept moist to function correctly, and eye drops for contact lens wearers supplied by your optometrist or phrmacist will help to do this.

If you are a contact lens wearer, ensure you clean your lenses as per instructions, and clean them regularly. Also, if you choose to wear disposable lenses, ensure you throw them away as per instructions too. Failure to do either could cause problems for you in the future. In fact severe eye related diseases can come about due to poor contact lens hygiene.

Avoid Touching your Eyes

Where possible avoid touching your eyes. If you need to touch your eyes, always ensure you hands are clean. Unseen bacteria can be transmitted into your eye from your hands. This can lead to a range of eye issues which on occasion can cause permanent damage.

Contact us Today about Eye Health

If you are concerned about your vision, or simply to schedule a check-up, click here to get in touch.