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Blepharitis and Dry Eye Syndrome

Published on June 15, 2018

The eye is a delicate organ that is prone to different types of infections and diseases. Sore eyelids and inflammation from blepharitis can cause a lot of issues with the eyes and bring about annoying eye problems that will adversely affect your day-to-day life.

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the eyes. It is known to cause issues in the eyelid margins at the lash roots. It can occur as a result of blockages in the small oil glands in the eyelashes.

The symptoms may include red eyes, watery discharge, itchiness, burning, crusty eyelashes, light sensitivity, and swollen eyelids. It can occur due to bacterial or fungal infections, eyelash mites, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and dry eyes.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) are blockages in the meibomian glands. It leads to less or no oil secretion in the tears; causing dry eyes. Dry eyes can cause blepharitis, but it can also occur due to blepharitis. Both conditions are often related.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition when there is insufficient moisture in the eyes. It can occur due to inflammations or traumatic injuries to the eyes. It may also be the result of the aging process, using contact lenses, excessive screen time in front of computers and mobile devices, and allergies.

Blepharitis and Dry Eye Syndrome

The correlation between blepharitis and dry eye syndrome has led to the use of the term dry eye blepharitis syndrome or DEBS.

The leading cause of dry eyes is the presence of bacteria in the eyelids. The bacteria thrives in places like the eyes and form a protective coating referred to as a biofilm. These biofilms often form slowly, so the progression of DEBS may also occur in stages.

First, the inflammation occurs in the eyelash margins. The biofilm can also attract mites in the lashes. Then it can progress into blockages in the glands that produce protective oils. The infection can penetrate the deep layers of the eyes. Blinking can also spread the infection and cause further difficulties. Blepharitis almost always leads to dry eyes if left untreated.

Treating Blepharitis and Dry Eyes

If you experience symptoms of blepharitis and/or dry eyes, you should consult with a qualified eye doctor to learn more about your treatment options. Your doctor may recommend using eye scrubs to remove inflammation and warm compresses to treat the infection. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to help remove infections that can cause both blepharitis and dry eyes.

Other treatment options can be procedures with lasers. IPL is a therapy that uses intense pulses to remove blockages from eyelids and helps the oils flow again. BlephEx is a treatment that removes bacteria and biofilm from eyelids. Lipiflow is a technique that uses thermal pulses to remove clogs from meibomian glands.

Contact Our Office

If you suffer from chronic dry eye and want to relieve yourself of this annoying condition, contact us to schedule a consultation today. Dr. Jeffrey Joseph will assess your condition and help find the perfect solution to help you.


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    180 Newport Center Drive,
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  • Newport Beach, CA 92660
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