A thorough medical and diet history is first taken as blepharitis and meibomitis can be related to acne rosacea and exacerbated by certain skin types and diets.
Blepharitis and meibomitis is diagnosed by the history and through a comprehensive ophthalmological examination. Your oculoplastic surgeon will examine your eyes, eyelids, skin texture and eyelash appearance. A lacrimal study of the quantity and quality of tears is also included, as blepharitis is usually associated with tear film dysfunction.
A diagnosis of the specific type of blepharitis can often be made based on the appearance of the eyelid margins. The eyelid may be everted to look at the undersurface conjunctiva (inner lining).
Blepharitis and meibomitis can be associated with chalazia and conjunctival concretions.
Very rarely, blepharitis and chalazia may masquerade as benign but upon closer examination represent an eyelid tumour such as a morpheic basal cell carcinoma or meibomian cell carcinoma, both of which are malignant tumours. Blepharitis occurs bilaterally but a tumour is invariably unilateral, i.e. blepharitis and meibomitis in just one eye cannot exist.
Blepharitis and meibomitis can be distressing conditions. Treatment depends on the specific type of blepharitis. The key to treating most types of blepharitis is keeping the eyelids clean and crust free by means of good lid hygiene, however, some cases may require more complex treatment plans.
- Hot flannel soaking and cleaning twice daily
- Eyelid wipes
- Antibiotic ointment to lid margins
- Lubricating eyedrops
- Treatment of acne rosacea with tetracycline-family medication
- A diet high in Omega-3,6 & 9
- Flax seed oil
- Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) eyebag treatment
N.B. Blepharitis and meibomitis seldom disappear completely and even with successful treatment, relapses may occur.