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Keep a Lid on Eye Hygiene

Inflamed eyelids, also referred to as blepharitis, is something that many people experience at some point during their lives. It's a common eyelid inflammation, usually associated with an already existing bacterial eye infection, certain kinds of skin conditions, or dry eyes.

Generally, symptoms include itching, burning, redness, a gritty sensation in the eye, tearing and crusting around the eye. The condition can be tricky to manage, because it's usually chronic.

It's helpful to know, however, that there are a number of ways to take control of blepharitis and guarantee that your eyes stay clean and healthy. Start with putting a warm compress, such as a washcloth, to your outer eyelids to help the crust begin to loosen before you clean them. The heat from the compress will also soften the crusts and help to remove any remaining residue in your eyelids' oil secreting glands. When you begin treatment, you will probably need to remember to do this several times a day for approximately 5 minutes every time. When things clear up a bit, you can apply the compress one time per day, just for a few minutes.

This cleaning process is a necessary part of treating blepharitis, so you should use a commercial lid cleanser or whatever product your optometrist recommends. You want to carefully massage your outer eyelids and wash any residue away when you're done. Be sure to massage at the base of the eyelashes, as this is where much of the blepharitis causes problems. Your optometrist may also recommend eyedrops or oral medications if extra help is needed.

Although it may be uncomfortable, blepharitis is not contagious and largely, doesn't lead to any enduring harm to your vision, so call your eye care professional about eyelid hygiene, to keep your lids clean and healthy.