- 1 Section A
- 2 Nature of the Disease & Symptomatology
- 3 Complications associated with blepharitis?
- 4 Section B
- 5 General Considerations and Pathophysioloty (etiology)
- 6 Diagnostic Challenges
- 7 Risk Factors
- 8 Causation
- 9 The Eyelid’s Microbiota
- 10 Parasitic Mites that live in Eyelashes And Eyebrows Hair Follicles and sebaceous glands
- 11 Section C
- 12 Conventional Treatment
- 13 Holistic Treatment
- 14 1. Rigorous Eye Hygiene and Warm Compresses
- 15 2. Try Black Tea compresses
- 16 3. Tea Tree Oil
- 17 4. Avoid Eye Makeup and Contact Lenses
- 18 5. Treat Dandruff
- 19 6. Anti-Inflammatory Foods
- 20 7. Minimize Screens and-or Use the Blinking Technique and Filters
- 21 Prevention measures
- 22 Discussion
- 23 Conclusion
- 24 Reference and Precision Notes
Blepharitis is more common than we thought, can be quite serious, thus, preventive vigilance is called for. In this HMI Disease Analysis, I will first examine what blepharitis is and its symptomatology (Section A). Thereafter, I will analyze causation (Section B) and conclude with an examination of both conventional and holistic treatment plans to resolve this eye disorder. (Section C).
Nature of the Disease & Symptomatology
Blepharitis is a relatively common inflammatory condition of the eyelid margins. We all have bacteria on the surface of our skin. But for some people, the bacteria thrives at the base of the eyelashes.. It can be painful, irritating and even itchy. And for some people, blepharitis can lead to more severe consequences like blurred vision, inflammation of eye tissue, loss of vision and even eyelid cancer. Thus self-cared is recommended and all the more so that this condition is likely to be the most under-diagnosed, undertreated, and underappreciated eye disease worldwide. (1)
The symptoms of blepharitis can vary depending on the cause, type and severity of the condition. (Source) The most common symptoms of blepharitis include burning sensation, tearing, irritation, red eyes, blurred vision, missing eyelashes, sticking eyelids, flakes or scales around the base of the eyelashes, hard crusts around the eyelashes and inflammation of eye tissue (especially the cornea). According to the National Eye Institute, Blepharitis occurs in two forms:
Complications associated with blepharitis?
Complications from blepharitis include, but are not limited to the following: Stye: A red tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid. Chalazion: This condition can follow the development of a stye. It is a usually painless firm lump caused by inflammation of the oil glands of the eyelid. Chalazion can be painful and red if there is also an infection. Ocular rosacea can also be a complication emanating from Blepharitis. This disease also affects the eyes and eyelids. Although medical experts are still debating on what causes rosacea, there are shared pathways and common pathogens between the two diseases.While rosacea is considered a skin condition, it affects the eyes in 58 to 72 percent of cases and is triggered by an overactive immune system. Research shows that about one-third of patients with ocular rosacea develop potentially sight-threatening inflammation of the cornea. (Source)
Another complication: Problems with the tear film: Abnormal or decreased oil secretions that are part of the tear film can result in excess tearing or dry eye. Because tears are necessary to keep the cornea healthy, tear film problems can make people more at risk for corneal infections. Irregular oil secretions that result from debris or flakes accumulating in the tear film can lead to excess tearing. Decreased oil secretions that are caused by an abnormality with the meibomian glands can affect the amount of oil intears and lead to dry eye. Touching and rubbing the infected area of the eyelid can cause a secondary infection because of the spread of bacteria. It’s important to avoid touching or rubbing one’s eyes if hands are not clean. When left untreated, blepharitis can cause misdirected eyelashes, meaning they grow abnormally, or cause your eyelashes to fall out. Patients with longstanding chronic blepharitis may present hypertrophy of the lid margin, scars, madarosis, trichiasis, and poliosis. For more details on this disorder, See National Eye Institute (Source)
General Considerations and Pathophysioloty (etiology)
Top: Eyelash and eyebrow demodex mites that live in hair follicles
Parasitic Mites that live in Eyelashes And Eyebrows Hair Follicles and sebaceous glands
Of the 64 different parasitic mites called Demodex that infect mammals’ eyelashes and eyebrow, two are present in most humans. (See picture above). Demodex folliculorum tends to be clustered to the hair follicle roots of the eyelashes while demodex brevis tends to thrive in sebaceous and meibomian glands connected to hair follicles. Both species are primarily found in the face, near the nose, the eyelashes, and eyebrows, but they can also burrow in other parts of the body.
Their bodies are covered with scales which they use to attach themselves to your eyebrow and eyelash hair follicles, their favorite niches. They feed on sebum as well as skin cells using a pointed mouth like structure and when in small population, eyebrow-eyelash mites and humans have s symbiotic relationship where they help in eating the excessive sebum oils that the body produces. (Source)
Although these demodex critters are considered commensals and harmless when in small amounts, when they start producing symptoms, they become nefarious parasitic. Like with the entire microbiota, it’s all about balance.
These inflammatory symptoms often happen when the person is chronically stressed, has a weakened immune system and an unhealthy lifestyle, at which point these mite populations can dramatically increase and promote human itching, inflammation, and other skin disorders like Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids and loss of eyebrows and eyelashes). (Source A and B).
Females of D. folliculorum are larger and rounder than male. (Source) Mating takes place in the follicle opening, and eggs are laid inside the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. The six-legged larvae hatch after three to four days, and the larvae develop into adults in about seven days. The total lifespan of a Demodex mite is several weeks. They can also carry with them different bacteria.
A study of 29 adults (18 and over) in North Carolina, US, found that 70% of those 18 years of age carried mites, and that all adults over 18 (n = 19) carried them (Source) However, the small sample size and small geographical area involved prevent from drawing broad conclusions from these data.
Be that as it may, to durably revolve skin and eye disorders like blepharitis, we can not ignore these mites as they appear to be the primary source of eyelid inflammation as well as eyebrow and eyelashes thinning and loss.
By applying a correctly dosed tea tree-carrier oil mixture across the infected area, these mites dont colonize as much and actually start to migrate out the follicles. They can then be removed by lid scrubs. (14)
From the holistic perspective, it’s often amazing how skin and eye disorders like blepharitis will resolve just with heat, blinking exercises, reduction of chronic stress, some high quality pure essential oils and a good anti-inflammatory diet. This disease still can be challenging. But when we focus more on the root causes than symptoms, a durable resolution of the problem is favored.