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Blepharitis- any ideas?

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  • Blepharitis- any ideas?

    Hello from London UK.

    I have been recently diagnosed as having blepharitis. The condition came on almost overnight (I've never had any eye problems and I'm 42 now) and initially my eyes felt very gritty and then started to water.

    The NHS happily informed me that the condition was chronic and would never ever go away but could be kept in check by good lid hygiene. I'm not sure if it was a coincidence but I also found out that I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis a couple of weeks before this and had become incredibly stressed as a result. My results were considered 'normal' except my high antibodies and low adrenal function and have no lack of energy. I'm male so thyroid issues are considered quite rare although my father has Sjogrens (my initial tests were negative).

    Since that point in time it has been a complete emotional roller coaster and despite my best to practice good lid hygiene I fail to be get anywhere. Right now my left eyelid is red and inflamed and always has a mini crust that I have to remove with a q-tip. Each alternate week I seem to have a new stye and my eyelashes continue to fall out. Of course my lid margins are also red although one eye seems to be much better than the other (right eye). Part of me thinks that I am poking around so much that I am making the problem worse!

    So far I have tried:

    occusoft extra
    lid-care (the foam seems to irritate my eyes)
    blephagel (very soothing at night)
    baby shampoo (irriates my eyes)
    castor oil (trying at present)
    colloidal silver spray
    baking soda dissolved in water
    hot compress (dries out my eyes and skin)

    Any time I have visited the Doctor or eye clinic they say that my margins are crusty despite the fact I use a q-tip every few hours to clean them. Apparently it is both posterior and anterior but as yet my eyes are not dry and are rarely bloodshot or stuck together.

    I do not believe in coincidences so think this condition is linked back to my thyroid and hormone levels (and stress of course) and/or possibly some form of allergy. I've also noticed that I am getting dry skin rashes and unless I shave every day my stubble is full of debris.

    Does anyone have any ideas on what might be the cause and how best to treat it? I do not believe this is chronic but it's just a key of unlocking the right sequence to fight it.

  • #2
    I am a 42 year old male and I know the feeling about the emotions and stress. The wierd thing is I am starting to think that there is a link between stress, anxiety and blepharitis. So it might just be a vicious circle. Stress and anxiety are the culprits to alot of problem So maybe you are over thinking it and becoming stressed out causing inbalances in you " normal " body funtions.


    • #3

      Hi dave,

      Yes I definitely think that stress plays a big factor in this. I am having a rough time lately in my life and my eyes. I was on prozac for years and I have had this blepharitis/occular rosacea condition for 20 years. No it wasn't bad that long. I'd say when I first had it 20 years ago it was bad then I got it under control. I would still have flair ups but was able to get it under control. When I was on the prozac for the last 10 years it was like I didn't have any blepharitis. Very minor flare ups once in a blue moon lasting a day or a few hours. I am not advocating SSRI's I'm just saying that they may have played a part in controlling my condition. I am off the prozac and I am having a really bad flare up that is out of control right now. I am associating it with me stopping my prozac and getting stressed. I also believe allergies and hormones can play a role in this too. I have not gone back on the prozac yet. I am trying accupuncture and trying to be positive that it will work. It's hard though when you feel like scratching your eyes out.


      • #4
        I think you have a point there. Right now I am trapped in a viscous circle whereby the more i stress about symptoms, the more pronounced they become, the more i stress about them.

        By the way my eyelids seem to become more inflamed as the day goes on. I just put cucumber on them and it felt lovely and calmed down the redness for a while. I wonder if cucumbers have anything anti-inflammatory in them??


        • #5

          Hi Dave, I think the cucumbers will make them feel better. I also put ice in a plastic baggie with a paper towel underneath and ice my eyes with it sometimes. I also heard chamomile cooled tea bags are good to. The condition does stink. I do believe it is chronic but once you get it under control you will feel a lot better. You may feel like you don't even have anything wrong with your eyes. It should get better. The question is when? Everyone is different along with the treatments too. The key is to get it under control and its hard. Mine is not under control right now either. I am using these cromolyn eye drops that an allergist gave me and it got rid of some of the inflammation but It isn't working because my eyelids are burning and sore. I think my eyes are not agreeing with this type of drop. He told me that if it burns don't use it. I'm still using it a little because I feel it has helped in certain way but now my eyes are darn sore. I'm prob going to stop these drops. I've also been using some caster oil on my lids and I think I like it. I have to test it out longer though to really see. There is a thread on here where this guy used ayurvedic herbs to cure his eye condition, he is from India. I bought one of the products online. I plan on buying the other herb too. I hope I'm not just wasting money again but its worth a shot. One you take internally and the other you use it as an eye wash. If you have any questions you can pm me too.


          • #6
            Hi Lisa,

            Getting the inflammation under control seems to be the key. Can you keep us posted on the ayurvedic herbs you are using and what success you are having? I stopped the castor oil as after some time I started to develop burning on the surface of my eye. I'm not sure if the castor oil was causing it, but now that I've stopped using it for about two weeks, there is a little less burning.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hopeful2 View Post
              Hi Lisa,

              Getting the inflammation under control seems to be the key. Can you keep us posted on the ayurvedic herbs you are using and what success you are having? I stopped the castor oil as after some time I started to develop burning on the surface of my eye. I'm not sure if the castor oil was causing it, but now that I've stopped using it for about two weeks, there is a little less burning.
              Hi hopeful, Yes I'll keep you posted. I haven't started using them yet because I am waiting for a shipment. I also am going to try to buy one of them at an indian store or whole foods. I'm not sure if the castor oil is good or not yet because I have to see how it goes. I just started it yesterday along with cromolyn eye drops which my eyelids are very sore. I think the cromolyn isn't agreeing with me. Meanwhile the dr. said if it burns don't use it but I felt that it was helping a little with the inflammation but my eyes are sore and burning so I guess it isn't working. eeeeshh. When I try the castor oil alone, I'll know better about the oil. I will let you know if the ayurvedic herbs help when I start them. So frustrated with this I feel like my eyes are not calming down at all. It stinks. I'm just trying to get my eyes to feel a little bit better with a little relief.


              • #8
                Is it true you can you never be cured from blepharitis? I have been diagnosed with lower bilateral Blepharitis, but mine isn't very acute, as a matter of fact it's pretty minimal, so maybe there is a chance it'll go away with treatments?


                • #9
                  Please see these two links below - I found this research yesterday in desperation I tried it, and as a sufferer of blepharitis, dry eye, MGD I am today feeling much better. The light sensitivity has gone, the headache has gone and my eyes are not burning. Usually it takes me 5 days to calm down a flare, but it has taken just over a day, and I feel great today, my eyes are still red but I dont have any symptoms. Yipeee could this be it! To be honest I was so desperate yesterday that I would have tried anything I think. But i am so glad I found this bit of research, and then the other link - Please read it.
                  The research is very small scale and has been done by a Phd Professor in the Ocular Surface Center in Miami -


                  I did exactly as this lady has done (not really sure about the little critters running around bit, but frankly I didnt care). I used almond oil, with one small drop of Tee tree
                  oil, please be very careful with this it is extremely strong and can damage your eyes if it is used too liberally. I massaged it gently over my eyelashes, eyebrows and also put some up my nose. And all I know is that yesterday I was in a full flare up and today I am better. I am going to continue with twice a day massaging it in, for 5 days then maybe do it once a week. If it keeps it at bay I will be forever grateful.

                  Bless you all,


                  • #10
                    Hi Tinkerbell,

                    Glad to hear that the tea tree oil mix is working for you. At my last doctor visit I asked if I could possibly have an issue with demodex. He did look through his slit lamp and stated that he didn't see any evidence of demodex. I wonder if this is because the eye lash needs to be removed. As I understand it we all have demodex mites. It is just that some of us, with a compromised ocular surface, react more to them.

                    I already use tea tree shampoo. Could you elaborate on the ratio of oil to tea tree oil? How do you avoid getting it in your eye? I would think it would have to be much less than 50 % tea tree oil. Thanks so much!


                    • #11
                      tea tree mixture

                      Hi Tinkerbell, wow that combo sounds interesting. Do you think you have demodex? Tea tree is like an antibiotic. I was allready using azasite which is an antibiotic. I would have thought that would have worked if it was an infection. I'd be kind of afraid to use the tea tree oil on my lids. It says in the article you can blind yourself. I'm tempted but afraid of really hurting my eyes.


                      • #12
                        Tea Tree Oil

                        Hello again,

                        This is not very scientific in its approach but I use about half a teaspoon of Almond oil, then I put in one drop from the bottle of Tea Tree oil, mix together in a small bowl, and then I used my finger to massage gently along the eyelashes back and forth. However, today (day 3 ) it looks so much better yet again, so I have reverted to the same mixture but using a cotton bud to do the job, because like you I am concerned about the oil in my eyes. I am pretty sure I have demodex, dont forget your eyebrows and nose as well.

                        Let me know how you get on!


                        • #13
                          tea tree mixture

                          Hi Tinkerbell, do you rub it into your lashes and lash line or do you just put on your lashes like up to mid lash not touching the skin. I'm getting technical. Have you gotten any in your eye?


                          • #14

                            It's been a couple of weeks since my original post and I've slightly changed my regime over the past week and showing some improvement. I'm not sure if it is the change or maybe just my immune system fighting back (my cortisol is back to normal levels).

                            Either way I now have almost stopped using all the commercial wipes unless am out an about and have to clean my eyes. I couldn't help but wonder if rubbing the wipe over my upper lid a few times a day was agitating my upper lid although it was normally only my left eye that was inflamed.

                            Instead I use neem soap (apparently this is anti inflammatory) in the morning in the shower and then a cue tip soaked in boiled water on the lid margin. If there is any debris (which there still is) then I use the cue tip and look into a 10x magnifying mirror and try to remove it all. After that I use an eye bath and wash out my eye with boiled water (cold) and euphrasia (eyebright).

                            During the day i try not to rub my eyes but if they start itching you can be sure there is debris there to clean. Again it's the cue tip and magnifying mirror.

                            In the evening I tend to just wash my face as I didn't want to go over the top with the neem soap. After that I use the euphrasia eye bath and then apply blephagel to my eyelids for the night. The gel is very soothing and i think helps keep down the inflammation. In the morning my eyes are not dry but there is a certain amount of 'sleep' which i had pre-blepharitis.

                            My left eyelid is still a bit red and inflamed but I think the combination of the soap in the morning and gel in the evening might be working. I'm just hoping that the regular regime will in turn reduce the debris and therefore inflammation.


                            • #15
                              Hi there, i am new to the forum however have been a sufferer of Blepharitis, Chalazions, Red Eyelids for nearly 3 years now.

                              I live in North West England.

                              My condition only started when i was 28, i had no previous problems at all in relation to the above.

                              I wear contact lenses, but not anymore because they irritate my eyelids so much they just cause them to flare up.

                              I have tried the following :

                              Blephasol (little relief)
                              Blephagel (Soothing at night)
                              Baby Shampoo (irritated me more)
                              Warm Compress (made the condition worse)
                              Cold Compress (soothed initially)
                              Regular lid hygiene cleaning

                              All of which have not really helped in soothing the condition.

                              I have had 3 chalazions removed surgically in 2 years too, and i have one currently that has shrunk quite a lot which is a relief because i didnt want surgery again.

                              It is strange because the blepharitis is only in my left eye and my right is absolutely perfect, no redness, no swelling.

                              I work in a steel manufacturing plant and there is probably a lot of dust particals in the air, however ive worked there for the last 16 years so i doubt this has much to do with it.

                              There is no history in the family of any related problems, my dad suffers from psoriasis and eczema.

                              Any help or recommendations would be great!