According to the World Health Organisation, it is believed that approximately 40 million people around the globe are completely blind and an additional 250 million individuals are suffering from some type of ocular impairment that affects their ability to see.
In this regard, analysts estimate that a huge swath of these people are dealing with a condition referred to as blepharitis but the vast majority are completely unaware of what this particular disorder entails. Thus, we’ve created this research-based guide to help you understand everything you need to know about blepharitis and its unique causes.
Explaining Blepharitis from a Clinical Perspective
Many optometrists and eyesight experts recognise blepharitis as the most common cause of dehydrated eyes but this particular condition involves a range of symptoms that stretch beyond just dryness and itchiness. Shown below are the indicators and warning signs of chronic blepharitis:
- Perpetually inflamed eyelids that ache and throb throughout the day
- A noticeable film of grease, oil, or sticky matter that coats your eyes and the surrounding skin
- Small flakes and scales manifesting around your eyes, presenting the appearance of facial dandruff
- Fully saturated meibomian glands, which are responsible for preventing the evaporation of your eyes’ natural fluids
- Hardened yellowish crusts around the perimeter of your eyelids with an accompanying layer of gooey, viscous discharge
- A vexing burning sensation whenever you try to blink or open your eyelids
Although these symptoms are often associated with alternative ocular ailments, the unique amalgamation of these issues is directly correlated to persistent blepharitis.
How Does Blepharitis Arise?
Believe it or not, there are thousands of microscopic organisms living on your facial follicles and eyelashes but it’s worth noting that these miniscule bacteria are generally harmless.
However, there are three distinctive reasons for the appearance of blepharitis, one of which is actually related to a bacterial infection, so let’s take a moment to evaluate the specific blepharitis causes that you should be aware of:
- Meibomian Blepharitis: As alluded to above, a typical cause of blepharitis involves dysfunctional or overactive meibomian glands, which are also referred to as the tarsal glands. If these integral fluid-producing channels become implicated with a disorder or blockage, your eyes will behave abnormally and you’ll begin to notice regressive dryness and discomfort.
- Staphylococcal Blepharitis: Even though many people have small amounts of staphylococcus bacteria on their skin, some individuals suffer from adverse responses and unremitting infections when staphylococcal microbes begin to migrate towards the eyelids.
- Seborrhoeic Blepharitis: For anyone that happens to be struggling with seborrhoeic dermatitis, which brings about scaly, rash-ridden, or peeling skin, developing blepharitis is an ever-present possibility. It is generally incited by an unfavourable reaction to the naturally-occurring yeast in your skin oils, usually in the form of swollen glands and the aforementioned symptoms of blepharitis.
In light of these facts and figures, it’s important to note that blepharitis can be treated with routine eyelid hygiene, prescription-strength synthetic tears, antibiotics, or corticosteroids so be sure to partner with a trusted ophthalmologist to establish a personalised management strategy.