Don’t assume it’s just allergies and tough it out; symptoms such as itchy or scratchy eyes, foreign body sensation, tearing, crusting, redness/inflammation, dry eyes, and eye rubbing may come from a treatable condition called blepharitis.
What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes. Anyone can get blepharitis at any age, but likelihood increases with age, because as we get older, we have fewer natural antibodies in our tears.
The overgrowth of bacteria causes crusting along the eyelid and creates a sticky biofilm that harbors bacterial exotoxins. Since the eyelid margins are difficult to clean, the overgrowth of bacteria scurf and biofilm can build up.
The sugary biofilm allows even more bacteria to flourish, not only causing irritating symptoms, but eventually chronic inflammation. The inflammation adversely affects the structures in the eyelid, particularly the tear glands.
Constant eye irritation, foreign body sensation, and chronic dry eye disease are the result if not treated.
We now have specialized equipment for cleaning and exfoliating the eyelids and lashes and removing biofilm with a quick, painless, in office procedure, which almost immediately improves symptoms and helps control the long-term damage to tear glands.