Dry Eyes? Blepharitis Could Be to Blame

Man with blepharitis

Dry Eyes? Blepharitis Could Be to Blame

Wondering why your eyes are red, dry, and itchy? A condition called blepharitis could be the reason.

What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis occurs when your eyelids become inflamed and irritated. The inflammation can be due to:

  • Bacteria on Your Eyelids
  • Clogged Oil Glands at the Base of Your Eyelashes
  • Overgrowth of Tiny Mites That Live in Eyelash Follicles
  • Allergies
  • Skin Conditions, Like Rosacea, Psoriasis, and Dandruff

According to an article published in the February 12, 2021 issue of Review of Ophthalmology, blepharitis can also change the quality of the oil made by your eyelids. Natural oils keep your tear film healthy and your eyes moist and comfortable. If the oil you produce isn't high quality, you may soon experience dry eye.

How Can I Tell if I Have Blepharitis?

In addition to dryness, signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Stinging, Burning, Itchy, or Watery Eyes
  • Foreign Body Sensation
  • Eyelid or Eye Swelling
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Crusts on Eyelids First Thing in the Morning
  • Bubbles in Your Tears
  • Dandruff-Like Flakes on Your Eyelashes
  • Eyelashes That Fall Out Easily or Don't Grow Normally

According to the National Eye Institute, untreated blepharitis can increase your risk of developing chronic red eye, damaged corneas, or bumps (styes and chalazions) on your eyelids caused by blocked oil glands.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have Blepharitis?

A visit to your optometrist is the best place to start if you're suffering from dry eye. Your eye doctor can determine if your symptoms are caused by blepharitis or another condition. He or she can also discuss treatment and management options, which may include:

  • Cleaning Your Eyelids. Can you remember the last time you cleaned your eyelids? Most people don't devote any time to their eyelashes when washing their faces. If you have blepharitis, a daily eyelid cleaning can help keep your condition under control. Clean your lids with baby shampoo diluted in water or eyelid cleanser or wipes. Use gentle pressure with a washcloth or wipe to remove debris and bacteria.
  • Using Compresses. Warm compresses soften blocked oil glands and loosen crusts and flakes. Use a moistened washcloth or an eyemask that can be heated in the microwave.
  • Improving Your Skincare Routine. Bacteria or oil on your face, hair, and scalp can cause or worsen your symptoms. Washing these parts of your body regularly may help ease your blepharitis and dry eye symptoms. If you have dandruff, keep flakes under control with a dandruff shampoo.
  • Drugstore or Prescription Drops. Liquid tears or lubricating eye drops will ease dry eye symptoms. A steroid eye drop might be helpful if your eyes are red and swollen.
  • Choosing Makeup Carefully. Some types of makeup can irritate your eyelids and cause blepharitis. Stay away from products that contain parabens, wax, and fragrances. Throw away any makeup used before you were diagnosed with blepharitis, as it may be contaminated with bacteria. Avoid makeup products that irritate your eyelids, even if the product is labeled hypoallergenic.
  • Taking Antibiotics. If an overgrowth of bacteria is responsible for blepharitis, your eye doctor may prescribe antibiotic eyedrops or ointment. In some cases, oral antibiotics may be recommended.
  • Getting Rid of Mites. If mites are responsible for your condition, your eye doctor may recommend scrubs or gels designed to kill the parasites. In some cases, an oral medication that kills the mites may be the best option. You may need to use the products or medication for several weeks to ensure that all of the mites have been killed.
  • Increasing Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake. Taking fish oil supplements or eating foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, flaxseed, and soybeans, could have a beneficial effect on dry eye symptoms and blepharitis.
  • Trying Cyclosporine. These prescription eyedrops reduce inflammation and help your eyes produce more tears.
  • Treating Underlying Conditions: Keeping rosacea, dandruff, psoriasis, or allergies under control may help reduce your blepharitis symptoms.

Do you think your dry eyes might be caused by blepharitis? Give us a call and we'll schedule your visit with the eye doctor.

Sources:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Is Blepharitis?, 8/8/2022

National Eye Institute: Blepharitis, 8/31/2020

Review of Ophthalmology: Dry Eye: The Blepharitis Connection, 2/12/2021

American Optometric Association: Blepharitis

Location

Find us on the map

Hours of Operation

We are closed for lunch daily from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM.

Brier Creek Vision Care

Monday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Tuesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Wednesday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Thursday:

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Friday:

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonial

  • "Excellent office. Staff is helpful and polite when dealing with my special needs child. They understand when he needs break and how to redirect to another technique to achieve goal. Would highly recommend to others!"
    Jennifer, Raleigh, NC
  • "I needed an eye doctor to see me for my concussion issue that effected my eyesight. There isn't many who are able to assess. Dr. Durham knew just how to work with my case in a gentle manner to help keep me calm. I finally have hope for healing now."
    Elizabeth 3/15/19 - Answer to Prayer
  • "Dr Durham is amazing. She takes the time to hear the patient and is extemely knowlegable."
    Susan 3/16/19 - Amazing
  • "All the staff were very helpful & Susan Durham was very thorough & professional"
    Jill 3/14/19
  • "Dr. Durham and her staff are the best and most knowledgeable dealing with brain injuries. Highly recommended!"
    Kristina 3/11/19 - Absolutely the best!
  • "Thought exam was personal, deteilrd and fully explained. Staff were prompt, kind, snd professional. I’d recommend Dr. Durham’s clinic to anyone needing eye care."
    Thomas 3/10/19
  • "The staff was very polite and extremely patient with my condition. Very specific about my condition and caring to help me recover. We will have a long road to recovery together."
    Elizabeth 3/11/19
  • "Didn't have to wait. Very thorough eye exam."
    Sandy 3/7/19 - Great eye checkup
  • "My visit was more than I could of asked for. I told my friends about my visit to the future. Dr. Dunham was extremely knowledgeable, concerned and determined to get it right, Her staff seemed to respect her greatly. staff was trained very well and gave me the confidence they knew what they were doing.
    I have already told my friends about my visit to the future."
    Patricia 2/24/19 - Everything was perfect.
  • "My daughter and I have have had great experiences at Brier Creek Vision! Dr. N. Is fantastic!! The office staff is super friendly, accommodating and very pleasurable to work with. Eye glass frames are plentiful and the opticians are helpful, suggestive and patient! Thanks to everyone for making all of visits wonderful!!"
    Cynthia 2/14/19 – Great Experience
  • "Dr Nakagawara is open, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Karim Glover in the optical dispensary took great care in explaining and helping me to get great value on a new set of prescription sunglasses that will do much more than my previous set. Extremely happy.
    Loved the Optician!"
    Thomas 2/22/19 - Great Doctors and Team...
  • "I cannot tell you how happy I am with Brier Creek Vision. Everyone from the moment you enter, all the way through the appointment, is knowledgeable friendly and caring. I receive excellent and professional care. Highly recommend!"
    Helen 2/21/19 - Excellent care
  • "Went from 20/30 to 20/20! The sky is the limit with dr Patel. Will continue to bring both my kids here...."
    Temidayo 2/17/19 - Dr Patel Rocks!!!!
  • "I have had nothing but amazing experiences here! The entire staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. I have never walked away unsatisfied."
    Shelby 2/14/19 - Awesome!
  • "This office has all of the latest equipment and skills to take care of your eyes."
    Wales 2/6/19 - Great eye care!
  • "The atmosphere in the office is very pleasant and welcoming. I always feel comfortable in both the waiting room and the exam rooms. Selecting glasses is also a breeze, as the staff is extremely helpful and knowledgable."
    Kris 1/31/19 - Amazing Experience
  • "Our family visit was over the top. The entire staff took their time and made sure each and everyone's exam was through. No pressure to buy glasses. Our experience with Dr. Nakagawara was outstanding!!"
    Melissa 1/31/19 - Recommend
  • "I always have the best visit at Brier Creek Vision. My Doctor, Esther Nakagawara, is the best at what she does! She handles the procedures with care, caution and concern, explains well and has the best solutions to keep your eyes healthy. The staff is accommodating, patient and very kind to everyone; they never mind answering questions. The opticians are helpful in assisting with the selection of eyecare that looks good and works the best for you. I have told many people about my positive experiences at Brier Creek Vision and recommended this office as well."
    Kailah 1/30/19 - The Best in Eyeccare!!
  • "My family and I have been patients of Brier Creek Vision for 2 years. Dr. Nakagawara is a very caring and skilled OD who communicates, teaches and plans well. The staff and optometrists are inviting, knowledgeable and very helpful. We have recommended BCV to all our friends and family!"
    Cynthia 1/30/19 - Highly recommend
  • "I was thrilled to learn about the new Shaw lens concept to treat my daughter's amblyopia!"
    Molly 1/30/19 - Excellent Experience