Blepharitis: what it is, what causes it and how to treat it

Blepharitis is a fairly common inflammation, which can occur at any age, even several times, affecting only one eye or both. Blepharitis affects the edge of the eyelid, at the base of the eyelashes, where small glands (called Meibomian) are located that produce the oily part of the tear film: “If for various reasons these droplets of sebum become more consistent, solid and buttery, creates a “traffic jam” of the meibomian glands », explains the professor Paolo Nucci, Professor of Ophthalmology at the State University of Milan. “This condition, defined precisely as blepharitis, can lead to loss of eyelashesbut also to one worse quality of the tear film. The latter, in fact, is made up of three layers: lipid, the outermost one that prevents tears from evaporating; aqueous, the intermediate one that transfers oxygen to the cornea; mucous, the innermost one that serves to distribute this film on the eye in a homogeneous way ».

What is blepharitis

When the composition of the tear film is altered, a condition known as dyslacrimia, that is a bad quality of the tears: “In the case of blepharitis, it is the lipid part that is lacking, so the tears evaporate more easily and can open the way to dry eye”, warns the expert. “This inflammation can be diagnosed by an expert ophthalmologist through a normal visit with the slit lamp, which allows a careful inspection of the eyeball, although today there are other tests such as meibomyography, which allows to evaluate the state of the glands of Meibomian thanks to a particular lighting ».

How to tell if you have blepharitis

The engorgement of the meibomian glands can manifest itself with formation between the lashes from scabssimilar to dandruff, which can take the form of a collar (for this reason called collaretto), or with a swelling present on the inside of the eyelid (known as chalazion), due to a sort of “plug” that occludes the outlet of the gland. The other typical symptoms are itching and burning, foreign body sensation, eye redness and sensitivity to light. “In the face of these discomforts, it is advisable to undergo an eye examination as soon as possible not only to reduce the discomfort, but also to reduce the possibility of making the disorder become chronic,” recommends Professor Nucci.

What causes it

At the base of blepharitis there can be several causes, which include bacterial infections (typically from staphylococcus), but also hormonal and constitutional reasons, because some subjects are more predisposed than others to manifest it. “It seems that even the power supply can affect»Warns the expert. “If it is too lipidic, it can also make the fat component produced in the eye of bad quality”.

How blepharitis is treated

To treat blepharitis, it is necessary first of all decongest the Meibomian glands: «This is achieved by making hot compresses: just moisten some clean gauze and apply them on the eyelids for 1-2 minutes, performing a light massage to facilitate the escape of lipid secretions from the ducts », Professor Nucci suggests.

“At the same time, gods have to be hired medicationstetracyclines, which in children can be administered in the form of eye drops, while in adults they are usually prescribed for systemic use in a posology low-dose long course, that is a low dosage for a long period, equal to at least two or three months ». But treatment times can be lengthened based on a rule of thumb, whereby the treatment must follow the duration of the problem: for example, if the blepharitis has persisted for a year, the therapy must also cover the same twelve-month period.

What are the natural remedies

Often, on the market, there are supplements or eye drops formulated with vegetable ingredients, such as chamomile, euphrasia, witch hazel, aloe vera, mallow or dog rose: “There is no scientific evidence on their real effectiveness”, Professor Nucci points out. “The eye has no known receptors for material from flowers or plants, so thethe only truly effective natural remedy is a warm compress. Among other things, it is not necessary to boil the water: it is enough to use that from the tap ».

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