Blepharitis and Eyelid Bumps 

by Apr 14, 2020

The eyelids do more than just protect the eyes.  They help us maintain a healthy ocular surface by producing part of the tear film and distributing it across the front of the eye.  Many problems can arise if the eyelids are not properly cared for, including dry eye disease and painful styes. To learn more about how our eyelids keep our eyes comfortable and safe, continue reading. 


What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a term that is used to describe general eyelid inflammation.  It is a very common condition that results in red, swollen, flaky, uncomfortable eyelids.  In blepharitis, inflammation occurs near the base of the eyelashes and is caused by an accumulation of debris such as bacterial buildup and infections, dandruff, dead skin, or even mites.  This debris is irritating to the ocular surface and causes localized inflammation. Blepharitis is commonly found in conjunction with Meibomian gland dysfunction, a condition that affects the tiny oil glands that line the eyelids.  When both blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction are present, blepharitis is present, symptoms of dry eye disease are much more likely to arise. If you experience burning or stinging eyes, grittiness, light sensitivity, or itchy eyelids, you may want to ask your doctor if you have signs of blepharitis.

Treating blepharitis is essential for not only improving ocular health, but from preventing severe cases of dry eye disease and the uncomfortable symptoms associated with it.  Addressing and treating blepharitis is not an easy task and requires a long-term treatment approach, patience, and diligence. Consistent daily steps such as lid scrubs to remove eyelid debris and warm compresses to improve Meibomian gland dysfunction are required.  Some people may need topical or oral antibiotics to eliminate any bacterial overgrowth on the eyelids that is contributing to the development of blepharitis. Medications to reduce inflammation, like steroid eye drops, may be necessary in some severe cases of blepharitis.  


What are Eyelid Bumps and Styes?

Blepharitis and Meibomian gland dysfunction can also lead to eyelid bumps, which can be annoying, unsightly, or downright painful.  When a Meibomian gland becomes clogged or blocked, it can swell up and cause a noticeable eyelid bump called a chalazion. A chalazion usually looks like a skin-colored cyst, and can occur on the inside or the outside of the eyelids.  Occasionally a chalazion will become inflamed or infected, resulting in a painful red bump known as a hordeolum, or a stye. Proper eyelid hygiene, including keeping the eyelids clean and the Meibomian glands healthy, is essential in preventing the formation of a chalazion or a hordeolum. 

Most of the time, these bumps will resolve on their own or with increased use of warm compresses.  However, in some cases, the localized infection within the gland can spread and an antibiotic may be required.  Some signs that an antibiotic may be needed is if the eyelid becomes diffusely swollen and red, and the lid is warm to touch and very painful.  Some eyelid infections can cause a fever or nausea. If you have an eyelid bump and any of these symptoms occur, of if you begin to notice vision changes, such as double vision or painful eye movements, contact your doctor for prompt treatment.  

At EyeDocs Family Eye Care, you will recieve only the highest quality eye exam with our eye doctor in Brookville, Ohio.  Call us at 937-770-1265 or schedule an eye exam appointment online with Dr.Kyle Maxam or Dr. Kara Wampler for your eye exam with a Brookville eye doctor. The next time you need an evaluation for blepharitis, stye or eyelid bumps, be sure to come to EyeDocs where we always put the care of you and your family first with our eye care in Brookville, OH.

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