What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids, in which the eyelids become red, itchy and irritated. This is due to the overgrowth of bacteria along the lid margins. It can affect people of all ages. By using a microscope, we can take a photo of your eyelashes to show you the blepharitis. Crusting of the eyelids , also known as "bak sai" or "yan shi" is a common symptom seen in people suffering from blepharitis.
There are 2 types of blepharitis:
1) Anterior blepharitis: Occurs at the front surface of the lid margin, at the root of the eyelashes.
2) Posterior blepharitis: Occurs on the inner lid margin that touches the eyeball.
Eyelash extensions and blepharitis
Knowing the definition of blepharitis helps us to understand why eyelash extensions is a cause of it. Eyelash extensions are being glued onto the eye, thus making it harder to clean them thoroughly. Washing your face every night and using of lid wipe is important as a daily hygiene routine. However, they are unable to ensure that lid hygiene has been maintained, as there are bound to have many small spaces that have been missed out during the cleaning process. This is the chance for bacteria and demodex (mites that lives in our eyelash follicles) to grow, toxins are produced which then causes inflammation of our eyelashes (blepharitis).
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
1) Gritty or burning sensation
2) Excessive tearing
3) Itching, redness, swollen eyelids
4) Crusting of the eyelids
5) Contact Lens discomfort
Complications of blepharitis
1) Misdirection of eyelashes
2) Loss of eyelashes
5) Dry Eyes
Is it contagious?
No, blepharitis is not contagious. However it is a vicious cycle if it is not detected and treated properly. As we grow older, our bodies are unable to make sufficient natural antibodies in our tears, resulting in the overgrowth of normal bacteria on our lid margins.
Exotoxins and endotoxins are produced by the bacteria, causing inflammation to occur along the lid margins. This inflammation affects our tear glands, causing a decrease in tear and antibodies production, resulting in the increase in growth of bacteria, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
To learn more about the causes of blepharitis, click here.