Ocular rosacea cleaning eyelids

Written by on March 10, 2008 with 0 Comments

From: MLLeonard
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 16:18:31

In a message dated 10/22/99 7:28:10 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
shoichet@istar.ca writes:

<< Does washing my eyes every morning to avoid the excessive oil which causes blepharitis contribute to my dry eye?  Am I better to stop washing (I would actually prefer blepharitis to dry eye – I can’t stand the blinking).  The question arises because someone pointed out that the oil in tears is what makes them stay on the eye to lubricate it. >>

Hmmmmmm, ok, now do you mean washing your eyelids?  Like with baby shampoo?  This is fine, but can cause irritation.  Listen, the problem isn’t usually with excessive oil, rather, a lack of oil in the eye.  And the oil that is there is not normal and also causes irritation.  Are you doing the hot compresses for 5-10 minutes twice a day?  The hot compresses opens the glands up and helps those oils get released into the eye where they belong.  The antibiotics help change the chemistry of the oils so that they aren’t so irritating to the eyeball.  As far as the lid scrubs go, unless you notice a lot of debris on your eyelashes you probably don’t need to do them unless you find that they really help your eyes feel better.  The debris from the thick oily secretions tends to work out of the eye and accumulates around the lashes.  This is the perfect place for bacteria to grow.  And then you have infectious blepharitis.  This is the only time a topical antibiotic will help.  But if you do the warm/hot compresses with a hot washcloth, just take a q-tip soaked in a tiny bit of salt water, or if you must diluted baby shampoo once in a while and gently cleanse back and forth along the lash line.  I can usually tell if I need to do this by taking a look in a magnifying mirror under bright light.  When I run my fingernail across my upper lashes, sometimes they seem to be slightly stuck together or flakes fall out. 

Some eye doctors are starting to say now that the lid scrubs can cause more irritation than they help.  I guess it is individual.  What is important, though, is to do the compresses.  How often you do them is up to you.  If I do them twice a day like is recommended, I often get more irritation.  So, then I back off to once a day for a while or even once every other day.  It really varies.  I find that my eye condition can vary day to day.  Sometimes I have to leave my eyes alone for a while and not do anything, and sometimes I need to start getting more aggressive. 

HTH,
Marji

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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