Eyelids are skin structures that cover the eyes and protect the eyes against the ingress of foreign substances, drying, and injuries. These caps, together with the eyelashes consisting of fine and curved hairs on the edges, provide effective protection for the eyes. The follicles located at the bottom of the eyelashes also contain sebaceous glands. These sebaceous glands, in some cases, can be clogged or irritated, triggering the formation of some eyelid disorders. One of the most common of these conditions is eyelid inflammation, the medical name of which is blepharitis. Eyelid inflammation, which can affect the inner or outer parts of the eyelashes, can occur in one eye or in some cases can affect both eyes. Eyelid inflammation, which is easily felt by people and can be easily noticed when the eye is looked closely, is a disease that requires examination and treatment, and it is beneficial for individuals who have symptoms related to this disease to immediately apply to eye diseases clinics in order to protect eye health.
What is blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)?
Blepharitis, as it is used in medicine, is an eye disease that occurs when the eyelids become inflamed for various reasons. Eyelid inflammation, which manifests itself with marked discomfort and visible changes in the eyes, eyelashes and eyelids, is a very common health problem. Studies conducted in recent years have found that approximately 40-45% of patients with eye diseases have different sizes of blepharitis. As the disease progresses, permanent damage to the eyes and eyelids may occur, so medical treatment should be applied to patients diagnosed with blepharitis. In some people, the disease may recur and become chronic after recovery. Patients with symptoms of blepharitis should consult an ophthalmologist if they do not see any improvement within a few days despite their eye hygiene. Treatment success is very high in cases of eyelid inflammation treated in a timely manner and the possibility of permanent damage to occur is quite low. Eyelid inflammation, which usually starts in one eye, can be transmitted to the other eye, as well as rubbing the eyes and not washing the hands regularly. For this reason, one should be very careful about hygiene.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis (eyelid inflammation)?
Although the symptoms of eyelid inflammation are similar in almost every patient, the intensity of the symptoms varies depending on the severity of the infection. In the initial phase, blepharitis, which manifests itself only in the form of itching and mild pain during closing and rubbing of the eyes, begins to manifest itself with the following symptoms as the infection progresses:
• Burning eyes
• Feeling of grit in the eye
• Blurred vision
• Eye watering
• Dry and swollen eyes
• Oily looking eyelids and excessive burring
• Redness in the eyes and eyelashes
• Wanting to blink more often than usual
• Loss of eyelashes
• Sensitivity and reduced vision in bright light
• Eyelash loss
• Water bubble-like structures at the bottom of the eyelashes
What are the causes of eyelid inflammation?
Eyelid inflammation does not always have to be a cause for its occurrence. In some cases, blepharitis may occur in the absence of any cause or due to the weakening of the immune system. In addition, the factors that can be considered among the risk-increasing factors in the formation of blepharitis, an inflammatory disease, are as follows:
• Long stay in dirty and dusty environments
• Presence of dry eyes
• Infections caused by staphylococcus and similar bacterial species
• Wearing contact lenses
• Rose disease (acne rosacea – red face disease)
• Allergy to makeup and lens solutions
• Blockages in the small oil glands in the eyelid
• Seborrheic dermatitis
• Eyelash lice and mites
Inflammation in the eyelids can bring some complications in cases where they are not treated in a timely manner. Eyelash problems, chronic conjunctivitis, eyelid problems, difficulty in using contact lenses, styes, chalazion and corneal ulcers can be given as examples of these complications. In order to prevent the occurrence of such conditions, the treatment process should not be disrupted by showing the necessary sensitivity to eyelid inflammation.
How is eyelid inflammation diagnosed?
In patients who apply to eye diseases with the symptoms of blepharitis, the physician primarily obtains the necessary information about the medical history of the patient, the drugs he used, the duration of the problem and the chronic diseases he has. After that, a detailed eye examination is performed. This examination can be performed by the physician under a special light with the eye or using some medical devices and equipment. If deemed necessary, anesthesia can be applied to the patient and the eye can be examined in more detail. Magnifiers specially produced for ophthalmology clinics are used during examinations. After the eyes and eyelids are examined in detail, some tests can be applied if deemed necessary by the physician. One of the most commonly used tests in the diagnosis of eyelid inflammation is to take a sample of the fat or crusting on the eyelid and send it to the laboratories for examination. As a result of the examination of the sample taken, it can be determined which bacterial, viral or fungal (fungal) agent is the agent that causes inflammation in the eyelid, and information about allergen substances can be obtained. In addition, after the eyes are thoroughly cleaned, they can be sent for examination by taking a sample from tears. As a result of all these examinations and examinations, eyelid inflammation disease and the conditions that cause it are diagnosed definitively and the treatment process can be started as soon as possible.
What is the treatment for eyelid inflammation?
The best treatment option for simple eyelid inflammation is self-applied cleaning procedures and hot compress applications in the home environment. However, in more severe cases where these applications will be insufficient, some drug therapies should be applied. It is known that creams and ointments containing antibiotics applied to the eyelid are very effective in the treatment of this disease. In addition, antibiotic, antifungal or antiviral eye drops can be used to disinfect the inner part of the eyelid and to prevent microbial agents from reaching different layers of the eye from the eyelid. In some cases, steroid-containing eye drops and anti-inflammatory drugs that provide symptomatic treatment may also be recommended in order to treat allergies and persistent infections. Also, if deemed necessary by the physician, topical cyclosporine drugs, a calcineurin inhibitor, may be preferred as part of the treatment in some types of blepharitis. This application is also very effective in reducing the compelling symptoms caused by inflammation. In cases of eyelid inflammation caused by different underlying health problems such as seborrheic dermatitis and rose disease, the treatment plan for these diseases should be determined first, and blepharitis treatments should be applied in addition to this plan. Regular application of artificial tears in patients with dry eye problems contributes to the treatment of infection. Eyelid inflammation can usually be completely eliminated with effective treatment. However, blepharitis has generally become a chronic disease in the majority of patients and may recur at regular intervals. In such cases, patients should pay more attention to eye hygiene than other individuals.