Everyone who has endured a flare-up of Blepharitis has most likely asked one simple question: “How long does blepharitis last?” Keep reading to learn more about blepharitis, its causes, and how long patients should expect to have to deal with the condition.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common condition that affects the eyes; more specifically, this condition can cause issues at the base of the eyelashes and along the eyelid margin. When going through a flare-up, the condition can cause the following:
- Sensitivity to light
- Sore eyelids
- Watery and red eyes
- Swelling of the eyelid
- Crusted eyelashes
- Burning eyelids
- Itchy eyelids
- Blurred vision
- Dry eye
It is important to note that there are three types of blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside of the eye, usually at the base of the eyelashes and edges of the eyelids. Posterior blepharitis usually occurs at the opening of the eye’s meibomian glands. Mixed blepharitis is a mixture of both anterior and posterior blepharitis occurring at once.
What Triggers The Condition?
Often this condition is caused by an overgrowth of Staphylococcus bacteria around the eyes, or blocked meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and secrete an oily substance at the lid margin to prevent the eye’s watery tear film from drying out. When these glands become clogged by the oil they produce, a flare up of posterior blepharitis may occur. The clogging of this gland may produce a stye or sensitive welt around the eye.
Skin conditions like dandruff, rosacea, and eczema, may also contribute to flare-ups by causing skin inflammation and irritation at the eyelids. In certain instances, the presence of demodex mites may be to blame. Lastly, usually in younger children and teens, the condition can be caused by poor hygiene.
Is it Contagious?
The good news for is that the condition is not contagious. It can be a difficult ailment to tolerate, but you will not have to worry about passing it onto others.
How Long Does Swelling Last?
Unfortunately, blepharitis swelling will most likely last as long as you are suffering from a flare-up. However, it is possible to alleviate swelling by applying a cold compress over your eyes, and elevating your head during the night to decrease fluid retention.
How Long Does it Take to Clear Up?
Now onto the real question: how long does blepharitis last? The reality is that this condition is something which cannot be cured completely. It can, however, be managed with a variety of techniques. Proper eye care can allow a person to go months or even years without a flare-up.
How Can I Treat My Blepharitis?
There are several treatment options available! These treatments will either help you prevent flare-ups or assist you in alleviating active flare-ups. Treatment options include the following:
- Warm compresses
- Cleaning your eyelids regularly
- Artificial tears
- Oral antibiotics
- Topical antibiotics
- Punctal plugs
You can alleviate symptoms of blepharitis by placing a warm compress over your eyes. Boil water and then soak a clean eye pad in the water before placing it over your eyes for ten minutes. This will help clear up the debris that may have gathered around your eyes and at the base of your eyelashes.
If you have suffered from blepharitis in the past or know that you are prone to flare-ups you should clean your eyelids daily. Using warm water and baby shampoo to clean your eyes twice a day can help prevent the return of blepharitis.
A trusted medical provider can prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to help your flare-up subside, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Medicated artificial tear supplements can also be prescribed to help treat symptoms (such as dry eye) and alleviate general discomfort.
Occasionally, the condition can be treated with the use of punctal plugs. These dissolvable plugs can be implanted into the tear ducts to prevent the natural drainage of tears, thus keeping the eyes comfortably moist. These plugs are temporary and can last from several days to several months. This method for keeping the eyes moist will help with dry eyes and reduce eye irritation.
Village Emergency Centers Can Help
If your flare-up lasts longer than six weeks, be sure to seek out medical advice to help you treat blepharitis professionally. How long does blepharitis last? Finding out the answer as it pertains to your case of blepharitis starts by reaching out for help. With the right medical advice and at-home care, you can start managing blepharitis today.