Blepharitis is a disorder characterized by the inflammation of eyelash follicles. The exact reason for this disorder is still unclear but certain factors may aggravate it viz. dandruff, allergic reaction, eyelash mites, medication side effects or malfunctioning oil glands. Washing eyelids with a warm towel is recommended, and if the inflammation is caused by a bacterial, viral or fungal infection then a course of antibiotics is the treatment. If an infection is not the cause, eye drops or eye ointment may alleviate the symptoms. The disorder is aggravated by rubbing eyes with dirty hands, something children are likely to do.
Each child may experience symptoms differently, but the most common signs of Blepharitis include:
- Redness and scaling of the edges of the eyelids
- Burning of the eyes
- Your child rubbing his or her eyes
- General discomfort of the eyes
- Seborrheic dermatitis on your child's head or face
- Eye drainage
Because curing Blepharitis is difficult, the goal of treatment is to decrease the severity of the symptoms. Severe cases of Blepharitis may need to be managed by an ophthalmologist or eye care specialist. Treatment may include:
- Applying warm, wet compresses to your child's eyes for a period of 15 minutes, several times throughout the day.
- Instructing your child not to rub his or her eyes.
- Having your child wash his hands frequently.
- Antibiotic ointments for the eyes, which doesn't make the Blepharitis clear faster but may help to stop the infection from spreading to other parts of the eyes, or treat a secondary infection.
- Washing your child's face daily — including the eyes — with a wet washcloth and a gentle baby shampoo and rubbing your child's eyelids gently to help remove the crust.