Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff-like scales on eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder caused by either bacterial or a skin condition such as dandruff of the scalp or acne rosacea. It affects people of all ages. Although uncomfortable, in most cases, blepharitis is more of an annoyance than anything. It is not contagious and generally does not cause any serious ocular problems.
Individuals with blepharitis may experience a gritty or burning sensation in their eyes, excessive tearing, itching, red and swollen eyelids, dry eyes, or crusting of the eyelids. For most people, blepharitis causes only minor irritation and itching. However, in rare cases, it can lead to more severe signs and symptoms such as blurring of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissue, particularly the cornea.
Blepharitis has two basic forms:
It's common to have a mixture of both anterior and posterior forms of blepharitis at the same time, but in different degrees of severity.
Although eye doctors commonly diagnose blepharitis, it can be difficult to find permanent relief of the symptoms. In most cases, good eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine can control blepharitis. This includes frequent scalp and face washing, using warm compresses to soak the eyelids, and doing daily eyelid scrubs. In cases where a bacterial infection is the cause, various antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed along with eyelid hygiene.
A chalazion is an enlarged oil-producing gland in the eyelid called the meibomian gland. It forms when the gland opening becomes blocked. A chalazion appears as a swollen area or lump on the upper or lower eyelid. It is not caused by an infection but can be the site for infection if not treated appropriately.
What is the difference between a chalazion and a stye?
A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye, which also appears as a lump on the eyelid. A stye (also referred to as hordeolum)often appears as a red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid. It is caused by an inflamed or blocked up eyelash follicle. Chalazia tend to develop farther from the edge of the eyelid than styes. In some cases, a stye can develop under the eyelid. In these situations it may be difficult to distinguish between a chalazion and stye, but both conditions are usually treated wit the same general regimen.
How is a Chalazion or Stye treated?
Most chalazia and styes will go away on their own within a couple of weeks. If they are persistent, hot moist compresses and lid scrubs may help to clear the opening of the gland and promote drainage. However, in cases of a chronic Chalazion, they can be removed/drained in a minor in-office procedure.
Ptosis is the term used for the drooping of one or both upper eyelids. Ptosis happens in people of all ages and has several causes but the most common is aging.
Ptosis Symptoms and Signs
The most obvious sign of ptosis is the drooping eyelid. Depending on how severely the lid droops, people with ptosis may notice a decrease in their field of vision. One sign of moderate ptosis is having to raise the eyebrows repeatedly to try to lift the eyelids. In some severe cases, the entire vision from the affected eye can be obscured due to the lid covering the entire pupil. The degree of droopiness varies from one person to the next. If you think you may have ptosis, compare a recent photo of your face with one from 10 or 20 years ago, and you'll likely see a difference in the eyelid skin.
What Causes Ptosis?
One can be born with ptosis (droopy eyelids) which is referred to as congenital ptosis, however, in most cases it is a result of natural aging, injury or can be an after effect of eye surgery. In rare cases ptosis can also be due to weakening or paralysis of the muscles which controls the eyelid.