What is staphylococcal blepharitis?

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Staphylococcal blepharitis is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. Generally, certain forms of staph bacteria thrive on the body without causing any harm. Nevertheless, there might be overgrowth of the bacteria or some harmful strains multiply and infect the eyelids.

As a result, the eyes become swollen and puffy and form crusts and flakes around the border of the eyelid.

Generally, most cases are believed to be caused by the Staphylococcus aureus which is a bacterium responsible for most staph infections including skin infections, food poisoning and some forms of pneumonia.

What are the signs?

The signs of the condition usually affect both eyes and often worse upon waking in the morning. The usual symptoms include the following:

  • Irritation and redness
  • Soreness and itchiness
  • Oily or adhesive eyelids
  • Swollen, puffy eyelids
  • Crusty, flaking debris that can seal the eyelids shut
  • Light sensitivity
    The signs of the condition usually affect both eyes and often worse upon waking in the morning.
  • Sensation of a foreign object or grittiness in the eyes
  • Excessively dry or watery eyes
  • Loss of eyelashes or discoloration
  • Bending of the eyelashes toward the eye
  • Scarring or sores that causes the eyelids to turn inwards in severe cases
  • Damage to the cornea

Staphylococcal blepharitis has its own specific symptoms such as:

  • Damaged or loss of eyelashes
  • Collarettes or rings of flakes that line the eyelids at the base of the eyelashes
  • Hazy or discolored sites in the lower region of the cornea
  • Symptoms typically arise on the outside region of the eyelid

Management of staphylococcal blepharitis

Oftentimes, once an individual initially develops staphylococcal blepharitis, it settles on its own if the areas around the eyelids are kept clean and the application of artificial tears.

The commonly used treatment options include:

  • Cleanse the eyelids using an over-the-counter eyelid cleaning pads, prescription cleansers or diluted baby shampoo
  • Moisten the residue on the closed eyelids using a warm compress and massage gently
  • The eyelids should be cleaned using a solution that contains 50% tea tree oil
  • Apply a prescription antibiotic cream or drops on the border of the eyelids after they have been thoroughly cleansed
  • Oral antibiotics for persistent cases

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