Blepharitis: Causes and Natural Treatments

woman`s eyes

What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis, also known as eyelid inflammation, is probably a more common eye condition than you think it is. Ophthalmologists and optometrists record about 40% of their patients having this condition. Of course, blepharitis is an unpleasant one. Who wants to wake up to a pair of swollen eyelids. The specialists say that it’s a severe eye ailment, and it has no cure yet. One can only manage the symptoms that come with it. We will be examining this troubling eye ailment, its nature, causes, symptoms, and management using natural treatment.

Blepharitis is a medical condition that affects the eyelids with inflammation. This condition causes the eyelids, around where eyelashes grow out of, to become inflamed. It is difficult to treat, and there is no cure for it. However, blepharitis isn’t contagious, neither does it cause more damage to other parts of the eye and eyesight.

Types of Blepharitis

Blepharitis comes in different forms and affects different parts of the eyelids. This makes a distinction between the main types of blepharitis recognized by eye specialists:

Anterior Blepharitis

Anterior blepharitis is the result of the skin condition known as seborrhoeic dermatitis; it is also sometimes a result of a reaction to the staphylococcus bacteria. Anterior blepharitis leads to the inflammation of the skin around the base of the eyelashes. Anterior blepharitis is called angular blepharitis if the inflammation only appears on the outer corner of the eyelid.

Posterior Blepharitis

The posterior blepharitis is quite different from anterior blepharitis; it is developed when there’s a problem with the meibomian gland, which then leads to its inflammation. The meibomian gland is located along the margin of the eyelid and behind the base of the lashes

Mixed Blepharitis

Many eye specialists agree that this is the most common type of blepharitis. It is caused by a combination of both anterior and posterior blepharitis.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

  • sting and burning sensation
  • redness of the eyes and water discharge
  • visibly swollen and puffy eyelids
  • itches
  • scaly and greasy-like eyelids (squamous blepharitis)
  • sticky and crusty eyelids after waking up.
  • eyelash loss
  • an excessive outgrowth of lashes
  • eyelids surrounded by flaky skin
  • photosensitive, eyes sensitive to bright lights
  • more frequent blinking

Causes of Blepharitis

  • bacterial infection
  • dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis
  • malfunctioning oil glands around the eyelids
  • rosacea
  • clogged oil glands
  • allergic reactions to medication or cosmetic products

11 Natural Ways to Manage Blepharitis

If you are finding it difficult to stick to medication from your doctor, you may choose to go natural for the treatment of blepharitis symptoms. Some of the natural substances you can use to control the symptoms of blepharitis include baking soda, apple cider vinegar, essential oils, flax seeds, aloe vera juice, castor oil, and many others.

Baking Soda

A picture of baking sodaBaking soda is an effective antiseptic agent that works well in controlling the symptoms of blepharitis.

  • Get a teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), boiling water (500ml) and some cotton swabs.
  • Mix the baking soda in the boiled water and allow the solution to cool down.
  • Dip a cotton swab into the baking soda solution and wipe it over your closed eyelids.
  • Dispose of this used cotton swab afterward.
  • Dip a new cotton swab into the baking soda mixture and wipe your lower lid carefully while looking up. After this, discard the used swab.
  • Take up another cotton swab and use it to wipe your upper lid gently while looking down.

You can do this whenever you experience crushing or if your eyes are releasing any discharge. You may also do this before using eye drops.

The baking soda works as a disinfectant because of its antiseptic nature, so cleaning your eyelids with the baking soda mixture will disinfect your eyes and stop the spread of infections.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the swelling and redness that come with inflammation such as blepharitis.

Make ready a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a glass of warm water, and a few cotton swabs.

  • Mix the tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the warm water thoroughly before dipping the cotton swab into the mixture.
  • Use the soaked cotton swab to wipe your eyelids carefully while closed, then dispose the used swabs.
  • Allow the mixture to stay on your eyelids for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
  • If you can, keep this up once daily.

Flax Seeds

A teaspoon of ground flax seeds and a glass of warm milk is all you need here. Just pour a teaspoon of ground flaxseed into a glass of milk, mix them properly, and drink. Drink this glass of flaxseed milk once every day. You can also see your doctor before taking prescribed doses of flaxseed oil supplements.
Flax seeds are a bank of omega-3 acids that are anti-inflammatory in nature. The omega-3s in flax seeds will greatly reduce the inflammation around your eyes and eyelids.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera is one of the few natural skincare products that are highly effective. It is made up of multiple pharmacologically active compounds that have anti-inflammatory functions. These aloe compounds can reduce the amount of irritation and inflammation your eyes suffer. For this solution, you will need two tablespoons of aloe vera gel and one tablespoon of water, with some cotton swabs.

  • Mix the aloe gel in a tablespoon of water until it makes a fine blend.
  • Use a cotton swab to apply the aloe vera juice on your eyelids and wipe them mildly, wipe each eyelid with a different cotton swab.
  • Leave the aloe vera juice on your eyelids for about 20 minutes before rinsing your eyes with water.
  • Do this twice daily.

Castor Oil

To use castor oil to manage the symptoms of blepharitis, you can simply get a tablespoon of cold-pressed castor oil and some cotton swabs.

  • Use a clean cotton swab to wipe your closed eyelids carefully with the castor oil, a different cotton swab for each eyelid.
  • Allow the oil to stay on your eyelids for about 20 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • You may do this twice every day.

Castor oil may reduce the dysfunction of the meibomian gland by encouraging more stable management of tears. This maintains lubrication and reduces inflammation.

Warm Compress

Warm compresses loosen the oils and debris on your eyelid.

  • To do a warm compress, get a clean washcloth and soak it in some warm water.
  • Squeeze the cloth to get rid of excess water and put the warm washcloth over your closed eyelids for just over five minutes.
  • Remove the washcloth after this and clean up your eyelids.
  • You can do this warm compress twice every day.

Essential Oils

beauty oilEssential oils are great for skin treatments. They’ve got many anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits. There are a couple of essential oils that manage inflammation. We’ll discuss one of them.

Tea Tree Oil

Its antimicrobial properties suppress infections that may be aggravating blepharitis as it reduces the inflammation.

To use tea tree oil to treat blepharitis, here’s what to do:

  • Soak a clean piece of washcloth in some warm water.
  • Squeeze the excess water out of the soaked washcloth.
  • Add a drop of tea tree oil and let it spread.
  • Carefully clean the outer corners and inner corners of your eyelids with this warm towel with your eyes closed.

The oil may give a mild burning sensation, but you can wash your eyelids a minute later if the burning sensation remains strong. You are advised to avoid using tea tree oil if you are allergic to it.

Manuka Honey

To use manuka honey for blepharitis, get a teaspoon of manuka honey and distilled water, with some cotton swabs.

  • Make a mixture of the manuka honey and a teaspoon of distilled water.
  • Soak a cotton swab with this mixture and rub it gently on your closed eyelids.
  • Leave the mixture on the closed eyelids for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
  • You may repeat this process later in the day.

Manuka honey boasts of powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which makes it a great option for treating irritation and bacterial infections.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can help you manage blepharitis and dry eyes with its anti-inflammatory and lubricating abilities. It also possesses some antibacterial properties.

  • Dip a clean cotton swab into a tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil and apply it on your closed eyelids.
  • Allow the coconut oil stay on your eyelids for some 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Do this twice daily.

Fish Oil

The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation and can manage tear stability. To get the right amount of fish oil, consume at least 500mg, and not more than 1000mg of fish oil every day. You can also opt for fish oil supplements, but you must consult with your doctor for a prescription.

Now that you Know…

These remedies may not cure blepharitis, however, they will reduce the unpleasant symptoms of blepharitis to the barest minimum. Blepharitis can persist for years if you don’t treat its symptoms consciously. You can also prevent blepharitis by keeping your eyelids clean, washing off make-up, and other cosmetics before going to bed to protect your eyelids from possibly contaminated products.