Widespread eye problems include inflammation and infection of the eyelids and eyelashes, also known as blepharitis and styes. Find out what are their symptoms and treatments available. Eyelashes infections, their symptoms and treatments
Blepharitis is characterized by inflammation of the eyelids and it generally affects the boundaries (margins) of the eyelids. It is usually not a serious eye problem, however, it may cause you discomfort and irritation. Blepharitis is usually persistent (chronic) and affects both the eyes.
Symptoms of blepharitis are inflammation of the eyelids, with crusts, flakes or scales appearing at lid margins. Eyelids are generally inflamed, red, thickened, oily, burning, sore and, feel itchy. You may find your eyelashes stuck together with discharge, in the mornings. Blepharitis may cause blockage in one or more of the tiny glands of the eyelids (meibomian glands) and thus, filling the eyelids with an oily fluid.
Symptoms often vary. Generally, symptoms flash up from time to time, but you may have long periods without any symptoms.
The various options available for treating blepharitis are:
- Antibiotic treatment– Your doctor may prescribe you a course of antibiotics which may last for a few weeks. An antibiotic ointment or eye drops can be taken on prescription and used as instructed by the doctor.
- Hot compresses– You can alleviate the soreness in your eye by placing cotton pads soaked in warm water against your closed eyelids for a few minutes. Repeat this twice a day.
- Lid massage– Gently rub the skin of the top eyelids towards the base of the lashes, using your fingertip or a clean cotton bud. Continue to do this across the entire width of the upper and lower eyelids. This will help unclog the clogged oil glands and release the oil.
A stye is a small red bump or pimple on the border of the eyelid or on the eyelid itself. A stye comes into existence when an oil gland in the eyelid gets plugged. The head of the stye generally emerges on the outside of the eyelid, but there are chances that it may appear underneath the eyelid. Styes are common and are not a serious problem.
Signs & Symptoms
A stye is an inflammation or infection of an eyelid gland. Also known as a hordeolum, a stye is sore and tender, and may make your eye water and sensitive to light. It can also feel like something is stuck in your eye, and tenderness and swelling are commonplace.
After a few days of stye formation, a white or yellow head of pus may show up on the eyelid. The stye usually bursts on its own to let the pus flow out. A stye does not cause you vision problems and is generally gone within a few weeks. Do not squeeze a stye.
Styes often go away with time and don’t require any special treatment. However, if you experience repeated occurrence of styes you may meet an eye professional. The various treatment options are:
- Hot compresses– Hot moist compresses can alleviate discomfort and help drain the stye. Prepare a compress, by dipping a clean wash cloth in warm water. Wring it and gently keep it over the eyelid for ten minutes, four times a day.
- Antibiotic treatment– If the stye does not clean up or is growing, an antibiotic ointment or medication can be taken on prescription.
- Pain-killers can be taken to ease any pain.
- Draining out the pus– The pus can be drained out by inserting a sterile needle into the head of the stye and this job should be left on the doctor.
- Removing the eyelash– If the stye has ripened, pus can be released by removing the eye lash on which it is based.