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Blepharitis and Styes

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Two of the most common conditions of the lids and lashes that we see in our practice are blepharitis and styes. You may or may not know what these two things are. Blepharitis is when you have bacteria and oily flakes at the base of your eyelashes. Your eyelids are red, swollen, or feel like they are burning.

A stye (also called a hordeolum) is a small, red, painful lump that grows from the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid. Most styes are caused by a bacterial infection. Both of these conditions may be treated in similar ways at certain stages. They are also prevented in much the same way. Here are some tips to help you prevent these conditions:

● Always remove makeup before going to bed with an oil-free makeup remover.

● When washing your face in the morning and at night do not forget to wash your lips and lashes with a mild soap such as baby shampoo.

● Always use hypoallergenic and oil-free makeup and face products to avoid clogging your pores and glands.

My doctor says I have a Chalazion, What is that? A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid. It happens when the eyelid’s oil gland clogs up. It may start as an internal hordeolum (stye). At first, you might not know you have a chalazion as there is little or no pain. But as it grows, your eyelid may get red, swollen, and sometimes tender to touch. If the chalazion gets large, it can press on your eye and cause blurry vision. Rarely, the whole eyelid might swell. If you have symptoms of any of these conditions, see your eye doctor as soon as possible. While these are not emergent conditions, they can be uncomfortable and like all conditions, the earlier they are treated, the easier they are to treat and the less chance you have of possible complications.


Written by Dr. Michael Duong

Dr. Duong received his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at San Jose State University. He then attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry and received his Doctor of Optometry in 2009.
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