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The curse of Blepharitis. My story.

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  • The curse of Blepharitis. My story.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing stories and info. This forum has been invaluable to me lately. Bleph is truly a debilitating condition.

    Hi all. Male ... late 50s. Lazer eye surgery about 10 years ago.
    Had eye surgery 2 years ago to remove a chronic sore on my lower eyelid. Surgeon also made incisions to drain eyes and scraped debris away from inside eyelids. This was a very unpleasant procedure. This year I developed a stye on one eye that would not go away. Eventually the other eye became infected with the same. Both eyes broke out with big blisters on both upper eyelids that would eventually "pop" and bleed. The blisters would get large and obscure my vision as well. This has been a repeating process since Aug.
    I saw three family doctors who prescribed some drops and ointment to no avail. Another doctor refused to treat it saying he never saw a case of this that never resolved itself. I received comments about "burning the candle at both ends" "use hot compresses" "eat better" "avoid stress" and "get rest" from these doctors. Stress is unavoidable in my line of work so that is not going away until I retire.
    I finally went to an Optometrist. She said I had the worst case of bleph she has ever seen. My eyes were so dry the eyeballs were peeling. Prescribed another ointment that did not help. Her last prognosis was that I would need tetracycline long term. She could not prescribe it and, now, I wait to see a specialist.
    I am currently using Systane Ultra eye drops to control the dryness. Washing the eyes with sterile pads and baby shampoo. I never dry my eyes with a used towel and I let them air dry if necessary. I've been trying castor oil on my eyelids but it leaches into the eyes causing irritation. Now, I've resorted to vitamin E oil and it seems to help. I still have cysts on my eyelids but they have not broke into blisters for a while so I guess this is helping. The cysts seem to be receding a bit too. The humidity has been very high lately with all the rain so I'm sure this is also a contributing factor to a "flare down" in my condition.
    Thanks for reading my story.

  • #2
    Hm. Sorry for your troubles - that is so persistent. I always think if this was ears they would do a combo of topical antibacterial and oral antibiotic specific to the bug. Wonder if this is why these things drag on with eyes. I have a teenager with chronic bleph that reinfects due to skin problems, and we do well with short topical courses of azithromycin 0.6% (maybe in Canada is AzaSite?). We're currently trying teatree shampoo as an alternative eyelid cleaning solution in case there's demodex. I'm getting a better shower with a water filter installed to help deal with the sensitive eyes. Is this only infected meibomian glands or do you get cysts at the eyelash bases too? Do you notice any skin problems eg eczema or yellowish crusting behind the ears? or persistent dandruff? We are using a sensitive anti-dandruff shampoo sometimes which inevitably goes onto the face in the shower and I think this has helped (antifungal, just in case).

    Please don't hesitate to see docs - hope you find someone you like to work with x
    Paediatric ocular rosacea ~ primum non nocere


    • #3
      Thankyou littlemermaid.

      I will look into these products for sure.
      I struggled with acne as a young person and still have occasional outbreaks if I don't watch my diet and skin care close enough.
      I can get eczema- like patches on my finger ends in certain conditions. I use a dandruff shampoo twice a week although dandruff is not a persistent problem. I wash my eyes with it too.
      I use cetaphil – a perfume free soap and glaxal base creme.
      Recently I've mixed castor oil and olive oil for hand creme and this is working very well.

      I really feel for your teenager. Teen years are tough enough without these kinds of problems.


      • #4
        familiar story

        Hello wilsonn,

        I wanted to tell you that your story sounds very similar to mine. I had LASIK about 12 years ago. My blepharitis started exactly two years ago. And it started on one eyelid. 6 months later it was in the other eyelid. A few months after that sores started on my lower eyelids. My ophthalmologists have no idea what to do anymore because it keeps getting worse. I too have had the incisions and the scraping, which are terrible and afterward the swelling and the bumps still look just as bad.

        I also have tried many prescription drops and ointments including Azasite, Tobradex, Erythromycin and doxycycline antibiotics. I have also tried home remedies like baby shampoo, honey, castor oil and Ocusoft lid scrubs, taking fish oil and flax seed oil. None of them made any difference.

        The only thing that worked is last year as my eyelid bumps were getting worse from Oct to Dec, is my ophthalmologist injected kenalog (steroids) in my eyelids. This made the bumps quickly go away.

        This year the bump started again in my left eyelid in Sept and then in my right eyelid in Oct. It swelled up until my left eyelid finally popped. The doctors are trying not to use the steroid injections again because they say it just masks the symptoms. But one ophthalmologist gave me Pred Forte drops. Which are a stronger steroid eye drop than Tobradex. It worked in making both of my eyelids look 20% better in two days. But then it didn't get any better than that.

        Anyway, those are the only two things (kenalog steroid injection and pred forte eye drops) that have worked for me. Other than that in the summertime my eyelids seem to get a little better on their own.

        I have not tried vitamin E directly on the eyelid. But I have been thinking about it. How are things going for you?


        • #5
          Hi Jeffsbaker,
          Sorry for late reply. Must have missed your post. I did publish my progress in "triumphs" but will give an update here.

          Sorry for your troubles.
          I gave up on ointments,oils, vitaminE, etc. on the eyelids some time ago. Found no real effect except for discomfort when the stuff leaches into the eyes.
          I've been taking flax oil for 4 plus months now. Will switch to hemp oil next for a try. Hot compress on eyes in the morn and night if I have time. Washing my lids, particularly the margins with cloth and baby shampoo. I do not always use the shampoo. I also put homemade eye drops into my eyes. Basically just a saline solution. Its a pain to make as everything must be sterile. I've also resorted to giving my lids a good squeeze or pinch when a cyst develops. Pops the cyst and heals quicker. Hurts like heck though. Pull the lid out with one hand and grab the lid with 2 fingers and squeeze. Ouch!
          Its been extremely humid here all winter and this could be contributing to better eyes right now. I'm dreading dry weather. My eyes have not cleared up but they are so much better.
          Hang in there.


          • #6
            Its been a couple of months and my eyes have improved. One eye is almost blemish free. No more cysts or styes have developed since I squeezed the last one out weeks ago... ouch.

            I'm applying hot compress in morning.
            Massaging eyelids with baby shampoo for 30 seconds, paying close attention to margins. I'm not using a cloth - it was too rough and would open up the wounds. Hands get a thorough scrub beforehand.
            Let the eyes air dry or use clean towel.

            Same at night. Whilst showering I massage eyes with dandruff shampoo for 30 seconds. Air dry or clean towel.
            I often apply eye drops for viewing computer or tv.
            I'm taking hemp oil when I remember.
            I have not worked since April so my stress level is wayyyy down. Could be the deciding factor.
            I'm very pleased.


            • #7
              It's been 6, 7 months since my last update.

              I never returned to work. Decided to retire so stress has dropped off. I do manage to create more stress, naturally, it seems. I was diagnosed with depression last spring and have been on medication ever since but thats another story.

              My eyes have stabilized nicely. No more styes or cysts. One eyelid is permanently scarred from the ravages of bleph. The other eye is fine. Still doing the hot compress and washing regimen I described earlier. I do use a washcloth occasionally on the margins.

              My eyes are still dry. My vision has dropped off a lot. Cannot do anything closeup without magnification. Probably an aging thing but in one or two years?

              I'm not doing anything special with diet. I am not applying anything to eyelids. I still apply eye drops if they get very red and sore.

              Do not be discouraged if immediate results do not show. It takes a long time and the changes are gradual. Stay with a thorough regimen. It is a very stubborn affliction.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                Thanks for the updates

                Thank you for all the updates. I have been doing similar things as you. Using Ocusoft wipes usually in the morning and at night. Or sometimes I use baby shampoo. I tried many different types of dandruff shampoo for months, but it didn't seem to help.

                My left eyelid has been clear for a while. But my right eyelid wants to start swelling or turn red either on the top or the bottom every few months. I have used so many prescription eye drops and gels and none of them have helped but the strongest steroid eyedrop, Predforte.

                So I have been controlling my right eyelid with Predforte drops all year. And it usually stops swelling after a couple of days except for right now. A few days ago my right upper eyelid started to swell and hurt at the inside corner of my eye. I have been using the Predforte eye drops but the swelling just keeps getting worse. My blepharitis has always been worse in the winter. I think we might have less humidity in the winter here on the coast of California. The indoor and outdoor humidity is at about 43% right now.

                So I'm thinking of trying a humidifier. I hope that helps.

                Anyway, thank you for the updates. I hope things continue to get better for you and that all of us will eventually be able to come up with a solution.



                • #9
                  Hi all. It has been a while. Hope everyone, and you too Jeff, are doing fine.

                  I'm retired and living in a very dry climate now. This does not help dry eyes. Humidifier helps.

                  I still follow a hot compress and cleaning regimen. Hot compress in the morn with a gentle scrub of eyelid margins with washcloth. I also massage eye area with soapy water well. I try to remember to use hot compress during the day if my eyes become sore. Showers at night include a good 20 to 30 second eye massage with soap. I also rinse very well pulling down my lower eyelid so water can enter the "trough". Hopefully this purges debris that can gather there.

                  I'm using Liposic regularly on my eyes. This stuff is great. Lasts quite a while and does not irritate my eyes like most eye drops will.

                  I did have an upper eyelid swell up last fall. It never resulted in a stye or sore. It was uncomfortable and lasted for 3 months or so. I just have to remember to be constantly vigilant with eye lube, cleaning, and massage.
                  Otherwise, I've been pretty happy with how things are going.

                  I sincerely hope others will find relief from this affliction.


                  • #10
                    Hello all. Hope everyone is doing ok.

                    Glad to hear you have found a couple products that help Jeffsbaker. I have been prescribed tobradex and another product short term. Neither helped and the one raised my eye pressure significantly.

                    My eyes have not been too bad since the last update. My one eye has flared up a couple times causing pretty severe scratching of my eye. Ended up wearing a contact for relief for a month till it healed up. They are not sure what caused it but damage occurred to inside of my upper eyelid causing enough pain to send me to emergency. They never did find anything foreign. Just when you think things are going fine something else happens.

                    I'm keeping up with the hot compresses, washing well, and paying attention to the margins with a washcloth. Liposic has been working well. The doctor also mentioned HyLo eye products. Something new they just got in. It looks interesting. No preservatives and good for six months once opened. I might try the gel product.

                    I'm not doing anything dietary for my eyes and I am not fooling around with any of the oils near my eyes. I think most of us are desperate to try anything in the early days.

                    I really feel for my fellow sufferers. Hope you all find relief.


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