Leader Heights Eye Center, 309 Leader Heights Road, York, PA 17402 • Phone: (717) 747-5430

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BLEPHARITIS Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It typically causes burning eyes, thick, red eyelids, and styes. It is sometimes caused by Staph or by other microbes and may be related to some skin conditions, like rosacea. The oil glands in the eyelids are abnormal and become plugged. The surface of the eye becomes acidic, and the tear film can break down quickly, causing dryness and burning. It is a chronic, smoldering problem and never really goes away. The symptoms wax and wane. There is a lot we can do to reduce the symptoms, when they get worse. Some patients benefit by doing some form of treatment on an ongoing basis. These are some of the options: Lid Scrubs – Once or twice a day, soak both eyes with a hot washcloth for two minutes. Then close your eyes and scrub horizontally across the margins of the eyelids (at the base of your eyelashes) with a wet Q-Tip. Scrub for about 20 seconds, and then rinse the eyes with warm water or the wash cloth. You may find that the hot soaks feel really good—go ahead and do them as much as you want. Sometimes, a hot baked potato covered in a wet wash cloth is a good heat source, because it retains heat longer than a washcloth. It is up to you if you want to eat the potato! Sterilid or OCuSOFT eyelid cleanser: Follow directions on package. Sterilid contains tea tree shampoo, which has been shown to be therapeutic. Azasite: this is a thick antibiotic drop. Place a drop in the eye, close your eyes and rub the excess into your eyelid margins. It kills bacteria, but its main action may be to quell the inflammation in the eyelid. Antibiotic Ointment: This is typically bacitracin or erythromycin. Apply to base of lashes and place a bead in each eye, at bedtime. Close your lids for a minute to let the ointment reach body temperature and spread out. It is typically done right after doing lid scrubs. Artificial tears: Blepharitis can make dry eyes worse, and vice versa. Putting in artificial tears or lubricating drops (not redness relievers) can help dilute the acids in your tear film that cause burning. Some recommended artificial tears are: Soothe, Refresh, Optive, Systane, Theratears, Genteal. Systane Balance and Soothe XP are specifically designed for patients with blepharitis. Doxycycline pills: 1 pill 2x/day for one month, then 1/day for six months would be a typical regimen. Like Azasite, it both kills bacteria and quells inflammation. Often, it takes a couple weeks to notice an improvement. If you do not get an adequate response after two weeks, the therapy can be changed.