At Dr. Paul H. Chen’s practice in Carlsbad, laser eye surgery is one of our areas of expertise, but we actually specialize in all forms of eye care. We believe that for our patients in Carlsbad, eye exams are one of the most important tools to maintain the health of the eyes. With regular eye exams, Dr. Chen is able to diagnose and treat many common eye problems, such as blepharitis.
What Is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a medical condition in which the eyelid becomes swollen or inflamed. The inflammation usually develops near the hair follicles of the eyelashes. Blepharitis can be an uncomfortable condition. In addition to the red, inflamed appearance, patients with blepharitis may experience:
- A burning sensation
- Itchy eyelids
- A dry, sandy feeling in the eyes
- Crusty eyelids or scales at the base of the eyelid
- Loss of eyelashes
- Scarring on the eyelid
The good news is that blepharitis can be easily diagnosed. A quick examination of the eyelids during a regular eye exam with Dr. Chen is usually all that is needed to diagnose blepharitis.
Causes of Blepharitis
While there isn’t a known cause of blepharitis, we do know that the symptoms arise when the glands near the eyelid produce too much oil. Anyone can suffer from blepharitis but it has been proven to occur more often in patients who have allergies, those with an excess of bacteria present on the surface of the skin, and those with skin conditions such as seborrhea and rosacea.
Treatment for Blepharitis
Just as the diagnosis for blepharitis is simple, so too is the treatment. In order to ease the swelling or burning sensation caused by blepharitis, patients should apply warm compresses to the eye twice daily. The best way to treat blepharitis is to gently clean the eyelids each day in order to remove the oil around the eyelids that is causing an excessive growth of bacteria. It is important to protect the eye during this process, so we usually recommend cleaning with a solution of warm water and a tear-free baby shampoo. This solution can then be applied to the base of the eyelid near the eyelashes using a clean cotton swab. Symptoms should improve after several days of daily cleansing. In most cases, this should be enough to clear up cases of blepharitis.
For some of Dr. Chen’s patients an antibacterial ointment may be necessary, in which case Dr. Chen will prescribe an effective product. If symptoms have not improved after several days, or if the symptoms seem to worsen, you should see Dr. Chen at your earliest convenience. Blepharitis is a condition that may reoccur so even when symptoms have subsided, it is a good idea for patients to continue to clean the eyelid area on a daily basis.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Paul H. Chen provides total eye care for his patients in Carlsbad. From regular exams to laser eye surgery, North County Laser Eye Associates is the place to go for eye care and vision correction. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chen, contact us today.