An inflammation of the lid margins, sometimes associated with a mild bacterial infection. The root cause of the inflammation is in the Meibomian glands which are situated in the eye lids and which secrete an oily substance which covers the tear film and prevents evaporation of the watery component of the tears, thus preventing dryness.
Some people suffer from a defect in the action of the Meibomian glands, causing the secretion to be viscous, thick and sticky.
The patient complains of irritation, tearing, itching, sensitivity to light, swelling of the lids, a foreign body sensation, dryness, discharge and sticky eyelids when awaking in the morning. The symptoms may be particularly severe in dry weather or when working for a long period in an air conditioned room. The patient may suffer from recurrent styes.
The basis of treatment is eye hygene and the cleaning of all discharge.
Hot compresses should be applied to the eyes for 10-15 minutes, at least twice a day, using a clean cotton pad soaked in warm water. The lid margins may be cleaned by rubbing with special applicators or with cotton-wool soaked with diluted baby shampoo.
systemic use of Omega 3 pills can help with the secretion of oil from the meibomian glands and reduce symptoms.
Doxycycline pills taken once a day can reduce the inflammatory reaction in the eyelids and improve the oil secretion thus reducing the complaints. The treatment should be taken for a few months and is usually given in severe blepharitis in combination of other treatments.
Moistening eye drops (“artificial tears”) may be purchased without a prescription: Lyteers, Genteal, lacrimol, hypotears, refresh and others may all be tried and the patient will discover which of them most suits him.
Once the condition has been brought under control, the treatment should be continued once a day in order to prevent a recurrence.