So your eyes are red, they hurt. How do you know if you have conjunctivitis or blepharitis? Read on!
A. Conjuctivitis versus Blepharitis- the Difference!Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the clear membrane that lines the eye. Conjunctivitis is caused most commonly by infection from viruses (e.g. Herpes) or bacteria, or by an allergic reaction, though other causes exist, such as overexposure to sun, wind, smog, chlorine, or contact lens solution. Pinkeye is the common name for conjunctivitis. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid; most commonly, it is caused by a bacterial infection. It can spread from person to person, and is considered contagious. If treatment is delayed, it may cause corneal inflammation and loss of eye sight.
What are the symptoms?Conjunctivitis and blepharitis may cause mild discomfort with tearing, itching, burning, light sensitivity, and thickening of the eyelids. They may also produce a crust or discharge, occasionally causing the eyelids to stick together during sleep. The eyes and eyelids may become red, but usually there is no blurring or change in vision.
Other therapiesIndividuals with diagnosed conjunctivitis should avoid irritants, such as contact lenses or allergy-causing agents.
Vitamins that may be helpfulVitamin A deficiency has been reported in people with chronic conjunctivitis. It is unknown whether vitamin A supplementation can prevent conjunctivitis or help people who already have the condition. Note that high dose Vit. A can be toxic. TheraLife uses beta-carotene- not Vit. A in the capsules. Beta-Carotene is converted into Vit. A in your liver, only to the extent that your body requires. The rest is secreted into the urine. Therefore, beta-carotene is not toxic.
Home Remedies for ConjunctivitisSeveral herbs have been traditionally used to treat eye inflammation. Examples include calendula, eyebright, chamomile and comfrey. Be ware that none of these herbs has been studied for use in conjunctivitis or blepharitis. As any preparation placed on the eye must be kept sterile, topical use of these herbs in the eyes should only be done under the supervision of an experienced healthcare professional. Goldenseal and Oregon grape contain the antibacterial constituent known as berberine. While topical use of berberine in eye drops has been clinically studied for eye infections,2 the use of the whole herbs has not been studied for conjunctivitis or blepharitis.
B. Blepharitis Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It can affect the inside or outside of the eyelids. The condition can be difficult to manage because it tends to recur.
Complication from blepharitis include:
Stye: A red tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid.
Chalazion: This condition can follow the development of a stye. It is a usually painless firm lump cause by inflammation of the oil glands of the eyelid. Chalazion can be painful and red if there is also an infection. Problem with tear film: abnormal or decreased oil secretions that are part of the tear film can result in excess tearing or dry eye. Because tears are necessary to keep the cornea healthy, tear film problems can make people more at risk for corneal infections.
Causes of Blepharitis
Blepharitis occurs in two forms
Anterior Blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid. Where the eyelashes are attached. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria (Staphylococcus) and scalp dandruff.
Posterior Blepharitis affects the inner eyelid (the moist part that makes contact with the eye0 and is cause by problems with the oil (meibomian) glands in this part of the tyelid. Two skin disorders can cause this form of blepharitis: acne rosacea, which leads to red and inflamed skin, and scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).
Symptoms of Blepharitis: Symtpoms of either form of blepharitis include a foreign body or burning sensation,excessive tearing, itching, sensitivity to light (photophobia), red and swollen eyelids, redness of the eye, blurring vision, frothy tears, dry eye or crusting of the eyelashes on awakening.
How is Blepharitis Treated? Treatment for both forms of blepharitis involves keeping the lids clean and free of crusts. Warm compresses should be applied to the lid to loosen the crusts, followed by a light scrubbing of the eyelid with a cotton swab and a mixture of water and baby shampoo. Because blepharitis rarely goes away completely, most patients must maintain an eyelid hygiene routine for life.
If the blepharitis is severe, an eye care prossional my also prescribe antibiotics or steroid eye drops. Note that steroid eye drops can only be used for up to one month- it does have undesirable side effects such as liver damage. When scalp dandruff is present, a dandruff shampoo for the hair is recommended as well. In addition to the warm compresses, patients with posterior blepharitis will need to massage their eyelids to clean the oil accumulated in the glands. Patients who also have acne rosacea should have that condition treated at the same time.
How can TheraLife Help?
Blepharitis and Chronic Dry Eye goes hand in hand. Use TheraLife Eye to treat Chronic Dry Eyes, and reduces inflammation. Blepharitis tend to recur and require daily due diligence to keep your eyelids clean and keep it at bay.
TheraLife Eye is clinically proven to be effective in chronic dry eye relief in 80% of the first time users. It works to restore normal cell functions to your tear secretion glands intra-cellularly. Call us today!
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