Blepharitis- Red eyes and crusty lids explained
Chronic red eyes and crusty lids are commonly due to inflammation from chronic bacterial overgrowth and/or from demodex mite infestations. Acute bacterial or viral infections (conjunctivitis or pink eye) are very different and require appropriate treatment, however the chronic red eyes which bother many patients are easily improved in most cases by good ocular hygiene.
“Eyegiene“, as we like to call ocular hygiene, includes regular cleansing of lids with special foam “lid & lash shampoos” or pre-moistened pads, along with hydration/lubrication using gentle artificial tear drops.
Although we would prefer not to think about it, we are all covered with normal bacteria (our bacterial skin flora) and most of us have mites called demodex living at the base of our hair or eyelash follicles.
But don’t panic! These are normal and cause no harm unless either the bacterial flora or demodex get out of control. Then our lids, skin and eyes can get red and inflamed. That’s where our optometrists at Pierce Family Vision can help.
When you visit your optometrist, they will look at your eyes behind the biomicroscope to rule out any serious eye issues and then create a personalized “Eyegiene” routine for you to help keep your eyes as white and comfortable as possible.
Daily lid cleansing and gentle artificial tear use should be part of our daily routine, just like brushing and flossing teeth and regular washing. Good ocular hygiene can also prevent painful styes and chalazion of the lids as well.
Eyegiene…who knew? The optometrists at Pierce Family Vision, that’s who!