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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Blepharitis- eye situation

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Author Topic: Blepharitis- eye situation
Tincup
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http://www.ohiolionseyeresearch.com/blepharitis.htm


__________________________________
Blepharitis

Q. After months of burning in my eyes and not being able to wear my contacts, a doctor finally told me that I have chronic bletharitis [blepharitis].

I know there isn't a cure but is there anything that can be done so that I can wear contacts again? Blepharitis is a common condition that can be controlled but not cured.

Blepharitis is caused by several things including Staphylococcal infection and Seborrhea (excessive secretion of lipid from glands).

Blepharitis may also be associated with dandruff, eczema, allergy, drugs and Acne rosacea. Signs of Blepharitis include scales on the lashes, red swollen lids, burning and itchy eyes and discharge (e.g., serum-like or mucus like) from the eyes.

Staphylococcal blepharitis typically is an acute inflammation and occurs mostly in females. It is also associated with Dry eye.

Seborrhea blepharitis is reflected by oily,greasy scales around the lashes and there may be excessive secretions or the glands may become plugged. Treatment often includes the following:

Use a clean and warm (the warmer the better) cloth and hold over the closed eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. Resoak the cloth to keep it warm as needed.

Once the lids are warmed and softened, clean the lid margin and lashes with diluted baby shampoo twice a day. Continue to do this even if you don't feel that it is working. Sooner or later things will improve.

If applicable, apply an antibiotic ointment to the lid margin as indicated. If you have dandruff, use an antidandruff shampoo...forever.

If you're a woman, or a man for that matter, try changing the brand of make-up that you use or, better yet, don't use make-up.

Even if you don't use make-up near the eyes, the eyes can still become contaminated by indirect contact; for example, by your hands touching your face and then your eyes or by rubbing the make-up off onto a pillow and then into or near the eyes.

If you have eczema, ask your doctor about a steroid ointment to treat it. If you are using drugs, ask your doctor if the drug(s) are associated with blepharitis. If necessary discontinue or change drugs.

Most importantly, practice proper hygiene. Wash you hands every time you use the bathroom, wash your face and shampoo daily.

If you use contacts, you must follow proper cleaning instructions for the contacts and be sure that your hands are clean before touching the contacts or your eyes.

Never rub your eyes with your fingers. If necessary, use the back of your hand or knuckle which is less likely to be contaminated. Will you be able to wear contacts again? That is a good question for your eye doctor.

Blepharitis waxes and wanes over the years and if you're able to control the outbreaks by following your doctor's recommendations you may be able to wear contacts again.

Unfortunately, since blepharitis is associated with dry eye in some cases, be careful - blepharitis can lead to complications including corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis.

See an eye doctor for diagnosis and possible treatment. Good luck


Q. Can blepharitis cause permanent eye problems and what are some of the causes of the problem?

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eye lid margins with crusting and scaling (sometimes oily scales) and causes the patient to have irritation, red lids, burning and itching of the eye lids and area.

This may be a chronic, ongoing condition, more or less permanent, or may come and go. Blepharitis is often associated with conjunctivitis and superficial keratitis. Go to blepharitis and conjunctivitis for more information.

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olliekat
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I had this too! It was awful. Seems to be under control these days. It was so bad I tried washing my eyelids with t-gel shampoo. (Do not try this at home. It burned like he11!) I went from having this 3 years ago while pregnant and w/Lyme to having vernal conjunctivitis that was treated with steriod drops to having dry eye which is being treated with Restasis. It feels much better lately, not sure if it is because of the Restasis or Lyme treatment...
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olliekat
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Sorry, I never answered your question. I was so excited that someone had the same problem as me! I had been having problems wearing contacts for quite some time before getting blepharitis and ended up getting lasik. I am very happy with the results. I don't think this caused the blepharitis, supposedly the pregnancy brought it on. Also it did not make my eyes anymore dry than they already were .
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map1131
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I refer to this madness as lyme & company. The reason I started calling it & company is too many people are only focusing on co-infections that are mentioned on this site regularly. Bart and babs mentioned daily, but how about this list?

& company includes:
staph
strep
malaria like illness
IBS
Fibro
fatigue
blurry vision
dry eye
retina thinning (early detaching)
macular degeneration
mycoplasma (all)
chlamydia (all)
rickettsia
arthritis
chronic yeast
fungus
parasites


Inflammation is in the eyes, the same way some of us have inflammation in the joints, heart/major organs, brain, etc.

Inflammation in the eyes is causing us many different problems. Back in Sept/Oct 07 I had to go to the emergency room at close hospital due to infection in my eye lid. One eye lid was swollen(four-times the norm size), red, inflammed, itching and I couldn't wear my contacts.

I was self treating for three days. I lost control of the infection. I broke down and went to ER. That was my first lyme related ER visit since July '99. Tempted a few times in last 7 yrs, but this scared me.

It was dx as very bad staph infection. Eye abx and oral abx ordered. I refused to take orals. Few weeks later my Internist insisted I take oral abx and more eye abx.

I actually seen a picture recently on spider bite email that was sent to me and it could actually been a picture of my eye when I went to ER. Was it a spider bite? Another tick bite? Or just another part of recent sx caused by more embedded tick bites and two known spider bites in the night in the last 2 yrs?

Pam

[ 04. January 2008, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: map1131 ]

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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pamoisondelune
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I had blepharitis flareups when i was a teenager, but haven't had it for decades.
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mojo
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I was diagnosed with Blepharitis about 20 years ago. I've never had the scaly eyes but I am not able to wear contacts at all. My eyes are very dry.

My eye dr. at the time had me washing my eyes/lashe twice per day with baby shampoo on a cotton ball. She also had me on a specific OTC eyedrop (can't remember the name).

She said it's not a good idea to wear mascara but if I had to (she knew I wasn't going to give it up) wear only hypo-allergenic.

I feel my eyes haven't really changed much - still dry, can't wear contacts and never had any flakes or anything. My eyes will get red when irritated - like when my chemical sensitivites act up.

I've been to a couple different eye drs. since them and none have mentioned the blepharitis.

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AliG
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I was dxd with Blepharitis. I recall having read about it being a "bacterial colonization" of the eyelids. Hmmmmmm.......Borrelia is a bacteria & it's been found in tears. [Roll Eyes] I think this should be a pretty common occurance among Lymies. [Frown]

Blepharitis (from e-medicine)

Blepharitis refers to a family of inflammatory disease processes of the eyelid(s).

Blepharitis can be divided anatomically into anterior and posterior blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis refers to inflammation mainly centered around the eyelashes and follicles, while the posterior variant involves the meibomian gland orifices. Anterior blepharitis usually is subdivided further into staphylococcal and seborrheic variants.

Frequently, a considerable overlap exists in these processes in individual patients. Blepharitis often is associated with systemic diseases, such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, as well as ocular diseases, such as dry eye syndromes, chalazion, trichiasis, conjunctivitis, and keratitis.


Pathophysiology

The pathophysiology of blepharitis usually involves bacterial colonization of the eyelids.

This results in direct microbial invasion of tissues, immune system-mediated damage, or damage caused by the production of bacterial toxins, waste products, and enzymes.

Colonization of the lid margin is increased in the presence of seborrheic dermatitis or meibomian gland dysfunction.

--------------------
Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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Jill E.
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I started getting blepharitis almost three years into Lyme/coinfection treatment. Never had it before being sick. Now I've had a few bouts.

One of my LLMDs noticed it immediately when I happened to be there for a visit - she sees it in a lot of Lyme patients.

Jill

--------------------
If laughter is the best medicine, why hasn't stand-up comedy cured me?

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Tincup
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Seems like it is fairly common with Lyme then. Nice to know that my friend who has it isn't a freak.


[Big Grin]

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www.MarylandLyme.org
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Robin123
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That's interesting. It's a symptom I forgot all about. It was there in the first couple years for me, and I recall putting baby shampoo on my eyelids for awhile, and then it stopped. Just goes to show how these symptoms come and go.
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HaplyCarlessdave
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I've had "blepharitis" a couple times. I think once was lyme-related. I was given antibiotic eyedrops, and it got better, but I also had some propblems with making enough tears, probably as a result of the infection. This eventually got much better.

About a week ago I contracted a different sort of eyeinfection-- "pinkeye"- the main symptom was redness, and I believe it was viral; I just kept them clean with a standard "eye-wash solution", and it cleared up after a few days.

I hope this clears up for you! In my case the abx cream I had to put in my eyes was pretty rude, and made me quite miserable.

If it is from the lyme, the antibiotic should help; it might be best not to mention lyme to the doc, though (unless your doc for that is the same as your doc for lyme, or is also lyme-literat.)

DaveS

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jam338
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This is an old thread found while researching info on blepharitis. Bedridden and been unable to go to eye doctor in 5 yrs. Recently had to go because of this infection.

Interestingly I never told the eye doctor I have lyme disease but when she diagnosed the blepharitis she asked if I might have lyme disease as blepharitis is common among lyme patients.

Other than that, she didn't seem to know a lot about lyme but was interested in learning more.

She told me confidentially that the clinic where she works (Sutter in CA) has been encouraging their doctors to pay closer attention to symptoms that could be lyme related.

When I asked her if they have a plan of action for patients suspected of it, she laughed and said no that they just told them it is something they should watch out for. At least they are paying attention, but shows there is much education left to be done.

I was too brainfogged to remember to tell her about Under Our Skin, but plan to drop her a personal card/note of thanks and mention it to her. She is very outspoken so hopefully it will lead to more being said by her in her workplace.

One doc at the time.

The eye thing for me is getting really bad. My eyes are constantly itching/blooshot/swollen. I remember now that 5 years ago she mentioned blepharitis but at that time suggested it was perhpas from not washing eye makeup off well. I was still able to wear eye makeup in those days.

However, I have not worn makeup now in a very long time so when that got ruled out as a cause that is when she asked about lyme disease.

She RX'd ethromycin ointment and recommended washing eyelids several times a day with Johnson baby shampoo and using warm/hot compresses for 5-10 min about 4 times a day. However, after watching a few you tube things I see one contributing cause can be oily eyeglands which become clogged. I have very dry skin so that isn't the cause for me. The other cause that was listed was other bacterial origins....hmmm.

Seems like since I started using the ABX ointment that it is getting worse instead of better so I am wondering if that isn't creating the oily buildup thing and boomeranging results.

Think I will try the hot compresses and baby shampoo washes and see if things improve.

Would love to read the experiences/results that others have had with this.

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Robin123
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Well at least a clinic in the Bay area has been put on greater alert about Lyme. Now we need them to take it more seriously.

I recently educated an SF Bay area ER doc about Lyme. He welcomed the info, especially when I let him know that anyone can get it now outside and from their pet as well. He got interested in personal protective measures.

Maybe you could work with the eye doctor a little more, bringing up the reality that we all face the possibility of getting infected and here's what to do for some protection at least.

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Got Lyme?
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I had all those symptoms from the beginning of my lyme nightmare.

Sometimes thru my journey of recovery they were my worst symptoms.

My eye doctor, having had lyme himself, checked me out and found nothing "wrong with my eyes or eyesight.

After 5 years of treatment with a LLMD, my eyes are finally better.

Still have slight eye stuff while herxing.

Check your pattern and determine when it happens.

--------------------
Margaret

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Parisa
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My sister had blepharitis and dutifully did not wear mascara. After a couple of months of no makeup and no improvement, she went back to wearing mascara and her eyes cleared up. She calls mascara her magical eye cure
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JR
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quote:
Originally posted by mojo:
I was diagnosed with Blepharitis about 20 years ago. I've never had the scaly eyes but I am not able to wear contacts at all. My eyes are very dry.

My eye dr. at the time had me washing my eyes/lashe twice per day with baby shampoo on a cotton ball. She also had me on a specific OTC eyedrop (can't remember the name).

She said it's not a good idea to wear mascara but if I had to (she knew I wasn't going to give it up) wear only hypo-allergenic.

I feel my eyes haven't really changed much - still dry, can't wear contacts and never had any flakes or anything. My eyes will get red when irritated - like when my chemical sensitivites act up.

I've been to a couple different eye drs. since them and none have mentioned the blepharitis.

Same here- except that any eye doctor I go to mentions the blepharitis.

Last one recommended daily use of Moisture Eye by Bausch and Lomb because it had a lubricant and wasn't just 'artificial tears'

The inflammation comes from tear ducts being blocked.

Dry Eye is also a side effect of many medications like antibiotics and not the result of LD.

Staring at a computer screen doesn't help either.

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lmkitties
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I've been dealing with Blepharitis for almost a year now. I use Sterilid for cleaning. Baby shampoo will dry out the skin around your eyes. I also use a hot compress (heated in the microwave and get it as hot as you can take it) for several minutes before washing with Sterilid. The most important thing that I added to my regimen lately that has made bid difference is taking N-Acetyl-Cysteine. I take a 600mg capsule at least twice daily on an empty stomach. My doc didn't mention it but internet research shows a correlation between usage and improvement so I tried it and it seems to be helping.
Posts: 30 | From Kill Devil Hills, NC | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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