Blepharitis and Other Conditions
The health of our eyes has a significant impact on our quality of life. The intricate structure of the eye makes this tissue susceptible to a range of diseases and conditions. Although many eye conditions produce noticeable symptoms, it is important to understand that many do not, and they can result in a permanent and irreversible loss of vision. Regular check-ups and screenings with an experienced eye doctor are the best way to protect your vision and ocular health. Using both simple and sophisticated diagnostic tools, our doctors can test various aspects of ocular health, and monitor the progress of any existing conditions.
Blepharitis is a common condition caused by bacteria that live on the skin. On a healthy eyelid, these bacteria maintain normal levels. Also known as eyelid margin disease, blepharitis causes large amounts of bacteria to accumulate around the base of the eyelashes. As a result, the oil glands along the eyelid margins become inflamed and clogged. The affected eye can become red and irritated, itch or sting, and may experience crusting and discharge along the eyelid. Treatment for this chronic condition aims to prevent the formation of scales and debris around the eyelashes. Eyelid scrubs may be recommended, or you can simply scrub the lids daily with mild baby shampoo. Warm compresses, ointments, and drops can also help ease your symptoms.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome, also simply known as dry eye, causes a decrease in the quality or quantity of tears. Dry eye is incredibly common, affecting millions of Americans each year. Dry eye can be caused by a number of factors, including environmental conditions and problems with tear production/quality. Dry eye can be seasonal or chronic. If you suffer from dry eye, you may experience tearing, sensitivity to light, or a persistent feeling like you have something in your eye. Our doctors can use TearLab™, an advanced technology, to determine whether you are suffering from dry eye, and also formulate a personalized treatment plan. Treatment can range from artificial tears and lifestyle changes to tear duct surgery.
Blepharitis is just one example of an eyelid disorder. Styes are another condition that affects the eyelid, and the name refers to the infection of a gland located at the base of the eyelashes. A chalazion is similar, and can occur when an oil-producing gland becomes clogged or enlarged. Like blepharitis, styes and chalazions can cause pain and inflammation, and are often treated with hot compresses. In more advanced cases, antibiotics may be recommended to clear up a persistent stye. Surgery may be recommended in other advanced cases.
The eyelids can also turn inward (entropion) or outward (ectropion), and can easily be corrected during surgery. These conditions occur, typically with age, as a result of the eyelid muscles weakening, the tissue around the eye relaxing, blepharospasm, infection and injury. Entropion, when the eyelid turns inward, can cause issues with corneal scarring and irritation as the eyelid margin and lashed rub against the cornea. Ectropion, when the lower eyelid turns outward, can leave the conjunctiva and cornea exposed to air and unable to fend off infection and debris. This can cause eye problems and discomfort, leaving patients with the need for constant added lubrication. These conditions can easily be corrected during surgery.
Eyelid edema develops when excess fluid collects in the eyelid. Although edema can result from an allergic reaction, it may be a sign of a more serious vision-threatening condition, like an infection. Eyelid edema, or swelling, can be painful or non-painful and affect one or both eyelids. There are many things that can cause eyelid edema, so be sure to consult an eye doctor if you experience it. Eyelid swelling is different from “puffy eyes” although the two are often used interchangeably. “Puffy eyes” are often just a result of water retention, lack of sleep or genetics and don’t require medical attention. Swollen eyes are more severe and are most often a result of infection, allergic reaction or an underlying condition.
Uveitis is an inflammation of the uvea. This middle layer of the eye is located below the sclera (white of the eye), and consists of the iris, choroid, and ciliary body. The exact cause of this inflammation is often unknown, but may result from infection, trauma, and certain autoimmune disorders. The condition can lead to permanent vision loss, and early diagnosis and intervention are integral to the success of your treatment. Treatment can range from anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medications to surgery in more serious cases.
Here at SightMD, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of eye disorders, both common and uncommon. If you think something is wrong with your eyes, or if you are due for an eye examination, contact one of our many Long Island locations today!