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Managing Eyelid inflammation

Fact Checked

Belpharitis is a condition which involves irritation, swelling or inflammation of the eyelids. Inflammation of the eyelid may occur as a result of a viral or bacterial infection or a chronic skin condition.

Disclaimer: The information posted on this page is for learning purposes only. To learn about managing serious medical emergencies enrol in workplace approved training programs. If you have serious eyelid inflammation contact a medical professional immediately.

Risk factors

The risk facts associated with eyelid inflammation include:eyelid inflammation

  • Organ transplant
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • AIDS
  • Seborrhea – scaly yet oily rash-prone skin
  • Yeast infection

Causes

Some of the causes of eyelid inflammation include:

  • Allergies
  • Air pollution
  • Fungal infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Viral infection
  • Lice infestation
  • Rosacea
  • Lupus
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

Symptoms

Common symptoms of eyelid inflammation include:

  • Itchy eyelids
  • Swelling of the eyelid edges
  • Redness of the eyelid
  • Eye discharge
  • Thick mucus on the edges of the eyelid
  • Scaly edges of the eyelid

Other symptoms of eyelid inflammation include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Burning sensation in the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Increased sensitivity towards bright light
  • Ulcers near the eyelashes

Complications

Complications associated with eyelid inflammation include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Abnormal eyelash growth
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Scarring of eyelid margins
  • Hordeolum
  • Keratoconjunctivitis

When to seek medical assistance

See your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following symptoms result:

  • Blurry vision that keeps worsening
  • Draining of pus from the eye
  • Ulcers and/or blisters on the eyelids
  • Persistent and worsening swelling affecting the eyelid
  • Persistent and worsening pain in the eye
  • Scaling and redness that worsens

Treatment

1. Cleanse your eyes

  • First wash your hands
  • Use baby shampoo to clean the eyes. You may use  a cotton ball to gently clean the eye, keeping the eyelids closed
  • Rinse your eyes with cool water. Use a clean towel to pat them dry. Do not share towels with family members
  • Repeat this procedure twice everyday

2. If condition does not improve, see a health care provider as soon as possible

The healthcare provider will perform a few eye exams along with some tests. Treatment depends on the cause of the eye inflammation. For example, in case of a bacterial infection, your health care provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition.

Caution

  • Do not wear contact lenses until the symptoms of the condition resolve
  • Do not share your towel, pillow cases or other personal belongings with get in contact with your eyes with other family members
  • Do not rub your eyes. If you touch your eyes, wash them immediately and do not touch anything or anyone

Home care tips

  • Avoid using eye cosmetics and eye makeup
  • Wash your hands every time you touch your face
  • Rinse your eyes using saline eye drops, at least thrice a day
  • Using a warm compress or a clean wash cloth, clean your eyelashes at least thrice a day. Replace your wash cloth and use a different one each time so that you reduce the risk of infection
  • Avoid sharing eye drops with people suffering from eye infection
  • Do not use non-prescription medicine or eye drops. Use medication/eye drops as directed by your health care provider
  • Discard eye lenses that were used before the start of the infection

Learn More

To learn more about serious medical emergencies including issues related to the eye enrol in workplace approved training programs (register here).

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