Eyelid Disorders: Why External Eye Health Matters Too

We put a lot of emphasis into taking care of the internal part of the eyes. This is no doubt the part of the eye that needs the most protecting. If the inner eye is not working as it should, your vision can be seriously compromised.

However, this is no reason to discount the outer elements of the eye; namely the eyelid. The eyelids are crucial for protecting the eyes from dust, bacteria and for evenly spreading moisture over the whole eyeball.

When our eyelids get infected, they could affect the overall health of our eyes and impair our vision. It’s important to look out for your eyelids just as much as your actual eyes! Here are just a couple disorders that affect the eyelid and how you can prevent and treat them.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is the most common of eyelid disorders. It occurs when there is an excess of bacterial and oil flakes at the edge of the eyelids. A little bit of bacteria on the skin is normal. It actually helps to boost our immune system; otherwise everything would make us sick!

When there is too much bacteria however, it can cause your eyelids to become swollen and itchy. The oil flakes are like eye dandruff and can get into the eye and further irritate that area.

People with especially oily skin are more prone to this problem. Oil flakes and bacteria are more likely to collect at the base of the eyelashes on people with overactive or oil gland problems.

Luckily, blepharitis is not a severe condition. At its worst, it can be extremely irritating. Unfortunately, there is no cure for blepharitis, but it is a very manageable disorder. The key is to keep your skin clean. Just like keeping your skin clean will help you avoid acne, keeping your eyelids clean with help with keeping oil glands cleared.

Treatments

Several all-natural treatments are available to alleviate the symptoms of blepharitis. These treatments are great at-home remedies that are completely free of hassle.

Warm compresses are the true saviors of eye bacteria. They work great at treating pink eye and blepharitis. Using a damp but warm cloth, gently press it against each eye, one eye at a time. This will help to get rid of those pesky oil flakes and will keep your oil glands from getting clogged.

Wash your eye lashes with baby shampoo. Yes, baby shampoo should be one of the wonders of the world because it is simply amazing. Baby shampoo won’t irritate your eyes like regular shampoo. Just as regular shampoo washed the excess oil out of your hair, baby shampoo will do the same for your eyelashes.

There’s no need to wash your eyelashes every day. Like hair, a little natural oil is good for you! A wash once a week will suffice. If you have very active oil glands, try washing them every time you wash your hair!

If you have a lot of oil flakes that you’re dying to get rid of, gently scrub the base of your eyelid with a cotton ball or a cotton swab!

Eyelid Disorders: Why External Eye Health Matters TooChalazion

A chalazion is another common eyelid disorder that is relatively harmless. It is an often benign bump that forms on the eyelid near the eye. A chalazion can form on the upper and lower eyelid and normally forms in the corners of the eyes.

A chalazion occurs when blepharitis is present, however in some cases it can be caused by rosacea. The bump normally forms around an oil gland. A chalazion is not painful, but in some cases it may grow to a size that presses down on the cornea, causing irregular and blurry vision.

A chalazion is like a self-cleaning oven, in that it self-heals most of the time. A chalazion is basically a stye that is not infectious. More often than not, the chalazion will drain on its own. If it doesn’t drain within a few weeks, many people choose to have it drained by a doctor as it becomes cosmetically unappealing.

Treatment

A small chalazion will seldom require treatment. As mentioned, it will likely drain on its own. Our bodies are very good at repairing themselves and getting rid of bumps like a chalazion is child’s play.

However, if a chalazion is taking too long to drain, there are ways to help the process along. One way to do this is a warm compress. Seriously, your eyelids love warm compresses. A warm compress will help to unclog the gland that the chalazion has formed over.

Another way to speed up the draining is to gently massage your eyelids. Be careful not to put too much pressure of the chalazion. It can burst and that’s not what we want. We want it to drain on its terms, not on ours. A popped chalazion can be painful and messy.

For a recurring chalazion (they normally form in the same spot every time), your doctor may recommend it be drained by a professional. In this case, a small incision at the base of the bump is made to drain the chalazion. However, this is a rare occurrence. Most chalazions, even recurring ones, resolve themselves.

If a chalazion regrows in the same spot as a previous one but has a suspicious appearance, your doctor may need to take a tissue sample to make sure that it’s a chalazion growing and not a tumor.

It’s important to keep an eye on your chalazion. If it isn’t painful and looks just like a bump, you’re probably in the clear. But the second the chalazion hurts or begins growing in a strange shape, you may need to seek a specialist’s advice.

Our eyelids can withstand a lot and there isn’t much that can faze them. Chalazions and blepharitis are the two most common eyelid conditions. There are other conditions that could also affect the eyelids, but they are most often caused by rare diseases or reactions to medications.

Either way, keeping your eyelids clean is a crucial step in obtaining healthy eyes. A simple wash every now and again is all that it takes!

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About Tyler Sorensen

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2 comments to Eyelid Disorders: Why External Eye Health Matters Too
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  1. kithsiri #

    short information but very informative

  2. Liz #

    I’ve had blepharitis for about 6 weeks now. The more I cleaned my eyelids – the worse the symptons. It felt like having pins or cat claws in my eyelids and the surrounding area. In desperation I went to Moorfields for help. I was given over the counter eye gel called VitA-POS. It is eye ointment containing vitamin A and oils. I put it on my eyelids at night time. I am delighted to say that this gel VitA-POS is excellent. It is relatively cheap to buy and after putting it on for two nights I feel much better. The pain has gone, such a relief.
    My sister also has the same condition and she recommends taking Omega 7 buckthorn capsules. This is a nutrient found it fish such as salmon and mackeral.

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