Blepharitis

Homoeopathic Treatment

The treatment of blephartis and meibomitis in allopathy or conventional mode of treatment is aimed at:

  • Unblocking the glands in the eyelids, which may be infected and inflamed like acne on face or a tiny boil by lid cleaning.
  • Replacing the tears if the eyes are dry with lubricants.
  • Treating any infection present with antibiotic cream.

Treating infection and reducing the inflammation using antibiotic tablets.

The above allopathy or conventional treatment is temporary which make eyes comfortable for sometime but there is no magic cure and condition again becomes worse.

In conventional or allopathic treatment of blepharitis antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed as local application and sometimes orally. Antibiotics can cause various side effects which ultimately results in decreased immunity. External application only suppresses the condition and does not remove the root cause of the disease.

Sometimes topical steroid ointments are used to reduce inflammation; these drugs containing steroids must be used with great care. If there is even a suspicion of a viral infection, such as a herpes infection, steroids should not be used. Steroids suppress the local immune response, allowing herpes infection to become more aggressive. Use of these drugs also creates a risk of increased pressure within the eyeball, which can lead to glaucoma as well as to cataracts, perforation of the cornea, and damage to the optic nerve.

Homoeopathy remedies treat the person as a whole. The treatment focuses on the patient as well as his pathological condition. Medicines are prescribed after a full individualization of the case, which include medical history of the patient, physical and mental constitution, family history, presenting symptoms, underlying pathology and possible causative factors.

The correct homoeopathic remedy tries to correct the disease predisposition also. There are many remedies for blepharitis, which are prescribed after thorough case taking of the individual. So individuals who are suffering from blepharitis will never get same medicines but different according to the constitution and modalities of the individual. These medicines help to boost the immunity of the patient so that it can cure the condition permanently. Thus homoeopathy helps the body to fight its own battle against blepharitis which results in permanent cure and not just suppression.

  • Medicines help to reduce symptoms due to inflammation of eyes that is burning, redness, pain and swelling.
  • Remedies help to reduce dryness of eyes.
  • The treatment helps to prevent formation of crust on eyelid margin.
  • Medicines help to improve the vision of eyes.

There are 142 medicines which give great relief in blepharitis and meibomitis. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus homoeopathic remedies are designer made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same medicines or drugs although trade name may be different.

What is Blepharitis and Meibomitis

Blepharitis is subacute or chronic inflammation of the eyelid margin. It is an extremely common disease. Blepharitis and meibomitis usually occur together.

Meibomitis is inflammation of the oil gland in eyelids. Both blepharitis and meibomitis are chronic conditions for which there is no cure in conventional or allopathy system of medicine.

In people with blepharitis and meibomitis the oil glands in the eyelids do not function properly. As a result, the eyelids become inflamed and the normal bacteria that reside on the eyelashes proliferate. If left untreated, severe blepharitis and meibomitis can lead to the development of styes, chalazae or corneal ulcers caused by sensitivity to the staphylococcal bacteria found on the eyelids.

Forms and Types

Blepharitis has two basic forms:

  • Anterior blepharitis, affecting the outside front of the eyelid where eyelashes are attached.
  • Posterior blepharitis, linked to dysfunction of meibomian glands within the eyelids that secrete oils to help lubricate the eye.

Types of Blepharitis:

  • Seborrhoeic or squamous blepharitis
  • Staphylococcal or ulcerative blepharitis
  • Mixed staphylococcal with seborrhoeic blepharitis
  • Posterior blepharitis or meibomitis
  • Parasitic blepharitis

Anterior Blepharitis

It is commonly caused by bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis) or dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows (seborrhoeic blepharitis).

Symptoms of anterior blepharitis caused by staphylococcal bacteria are more severe and can even lead to loss of eyelashes. Pink eye is a condition due to bacteria, a common type of eye infection, sometimes occurs simultaneously with blepharitis. Viruses and other types of bacteria besides staphylococcus also can cause anterior blepharitis.

Without treatment, blepharitis caused by bacteria can cause long-term effects such as outward turning of the lid margin (ectropion), thickened lid margins, dilated and visible capillaries, inward turning of eyelashes (trichiasis) and inward turning of lid margin (entropion). In cases of trichiasis and entropion, the cornea may exhibit significant erosion from eyelashes rubbing against the eye.

Posterior Blepharitis

It can be caused by irregular oil production by the glands of the eyelids (meibomian blepharitis) which creates favourable environment for bacterial growth.

It is commonly seen in middle-aged persons with acne rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis. It is characterized by white frothy secretion on the eyelid margins.

Seborrheic Blepharitis

It is usually associated with seborrhea of scalp (dandruff). Sometimes it is caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a skin condition that creates flaking and scaling — including on the eyelids.

Seborrheic dermatitis appears in a person with a weakened immune system. Fungi or certain types of yeast that feed on oils (lipids) in the skin also may lead to seborrheic dermatitis, with accompanying blepharitis.

Parasitic Blepharitis

It refers to chronic blepharitis associated with demodex folliculorum infection and phthiriasis palpebram due to crab louse, very rarely to head louse. It is characterized by presence of lice eggs (nits) at the lid margin and at roots of eyelashes.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Itching, irritation, burning and foreign body sensation.
  • Some patients experience eye dryness, which can cause a certain degree of discomfort.
  • Redness of the eyelids.
  • Flaking of skin on the lids.
  • Crusting at the lid margins; this is generally worse on waking.
  • Cysts at the lid margin (hordeolum).
  • Red eye.
  • Gritty sensation in the eye.
  • Reduced vision.

Common Causes

  • Poor eyelid hygiene.
  • Excessive oil production by eyelid glands: People who have blepharitis have too much oil being produced by the glands near the eyelid. This allows bacteria normally found on the skin to overgrow.
  • Blepharitis may be linked to repeated styes and chalazia. People more likely to develop this condition if they have seborrheic dermatitis of the face or scalp, rosacea, lice, and allergies.
  • Bacterial infection: Blepharitis is caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria that is normally found on the skin. It is usually due to seborrheic dermatitis or a bacterial infection. Both may occur at the same time.
  • Allergic reaction: Allergies, including allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup.
  • Dietary imbalance.
  • Idiopathic: Sometimes there is no known cause for the disease.

Possible Complications

  • External hordeolum (Stye). A stye is an infection that develops near the base of the eyelashes. The result is a painful lump on the edge or inside of eyelid. A stye is usually most visible on the surface of the eyelid.
  • Chalazion or meibomian cyst. A chalazion occurs when there’s a blockage in one of the small oil glands at the margin of the eyelid, just behind the eyelashes. The gland can become infected with bacteria, which causes a red, swollen eyelid. Unlike a stye, a chalazion tends to be most prominent on the inside of the eyelid.
  • Corneal ulcer (Injury to the eye tissue from irritation). Constant irritation from inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes may cause a sore (ulcer) to develop on cornea. Insufficient tearing could predispose to corneal infection.
  • Chronic pink eye. Inflammation of the surface of the eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Eyelashes problem. Blepharitis can cause eyelashes to fall out or grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes).
  • Eyelid skin problem. Scarring may occur on eyelids in response to long-term blepharitis.

Diagnosis

History of irritation, itching, and burning at the edge of the eyelids, or the sensation of a foreign body in the eyes is sufficient to diagnose.

Individuals who have ulcerative blepharitis may report dry scales, red eyelids, and tiny ulcerations along the edge of the lids. Lashes also tend to fall out in some cases.

With posterior blepharitis, a history of repeated stye infections (hordeolum) or inflammation of the meibomian glands may be reported.

In advanced cases, blurring of vision may be reported. Some individual give history of clinging of both upper and lower eyelids especially in the morning.

Physical examination

The eyelid margins will be red and swollen and may have dry and / or greasy scales. The mucous membrane that lines the eyelids will be irritated and inflamed; the mucous membrane covering the anterior surface of the eyeball (conjunctiva) may also be inflamed (conjunctivitis).

In posterior blepharitis, meibomian glands at the edges of the lids may be sore and swollen and produce an abnormal soft, cheesy substance when pressure is applied.

Examination of the eyelashes may reveal lice infestation, and examination of the scalp may reveal dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).

Tests

A culture of eye secretions may be done to rule out infection or to identify the causative bacteria. Allergic tests may be performed to know the sensitivity of the individual for particular medicines or food so that the underlying cause can be treated.

Home Care & Diet

  • One should take diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids which will help to improve function of the eyelids.
  • Warm compresses and lid massages can help unclog obstructed meibomian glands.
  • Avoid the use of eye make-up until symptoms subsides.
  • Keep eyelids, scalp and face clean.
  • Avoid rubbing eyes when a flare-up occurs.
  • Eat food such as fish, spinach that encourage overall eye health.
  • Avoid exposure to smoke and chemical fumes.
  • Get as much sleep as possible to prevent soreness, puffiness and fatigue.
  • Stop smoking : Smoking irritates the eyes causing them to become sore and dehydrated.
  • Drink plenty of water to reduce eye dryness and allow toxins to be flushed through.
  • Antioxidant treatment : Eating more grapes may help blepharitis patients. Grapes are good source of resveratol. Resveratol is an antioxidant effective against the formation of oxidants like nitric oxide in the involve eyelid margin which is speculated to play a role in blepharitis.
  • Vitamin-A is especially important for the eyes, without sufficient vitamin-A, the eyes are more susceptible to infection and ulceration.
  • Inadequate intake of the B-complex vitamin can result in itching, burning, bloodshot eyes that water excessively. So it is necessary to take adequate amount of vitamin-B in food.
  • Vitamin-C helps to prevent and clear up infection.
  • One should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods contain antioxidant phytochemicals that can protect all the cells of the body including those of eyes from damage.
  • Eat clean, lean protein food such as chicken and fish. Protein is needed for healing and to maintain healthy eyes.
  • One should avoid intake of sugar and caffeine. These substances contribute to eye irritation and worsen the symptoms caused by many eye problems.