Staphylococcal blepharitis

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Staphylococcal blepharitis is a brought about by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The condition is defined as inflammation of the eyelids where they turn reddened and itchy along with scaly patches of skin close to the eyelashes.

In most cases, dry eye is present. It is believed that the dryness makes the eyes less resistant to bacteria.

For an acute case, the infection generally lasts up for a few weeks. If chronic, it lasts for weeks or months, typically starting during childhood and lasts up to adulthood.

What are the symptoms?

In most cases, the symptoms typically affect both eyes and often worsen upon waking in the morning such as:

  • Soreness or itchiness
  • Swollen, puffy eyelids
  • Irritation and redness
  • Greasy or sticky eyelids
    Staphylococcal blepharitis
    Sensation of a foreign material or grittiness in the eyes.
  • Light sensitivity
  • Flaky, crusty debris that seals the eyelids shut
  • Sensation of a foreign material or grittiness in the eyes
  • Loss of eyelashes or discoloration
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Eyelashes that bends toward the eye
  • Sores or scarring which causes the eyelids to turn inwards
  • Corneal damage

Some of the symptoms that are specific to staphylococcus blepharitis include:

  • Broken or loss of eyelashes
  • Collarettes or rings of flakes that line the eyelids at the base of the eyelashes
  • Hazy or discolored regions in the inferior region of the cornea

Management of staphylococcus blepharitis

Oftentimes, after initially acquiring the infection, it clears on its own after keeping the site around the eyelids clean and using artificial tears. The treatment might include:

  • Moistening any residue on the closed eyelids using a warm compress and gentle massage
  • Cleansing the eyelids using prescription cleansers, diluted baby shampoo or over-the-counter eyelid cleaning pads
  • Cleanse the eyelids with a solution that contains 50% tea tree oil
  • Apply a prescription antibiotic ointment or drops on the borders of the eyelids after thoroughly cleaned
  • Oral antibiotics are used for persistent cases
  • Some of the procedures to eliminate residue, bacteria and dead skin include thermal pulsation, electromechanical debridement or intense pulsed light.

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