EYELID HYGIENE --follow these directions 1 to 2 times per day
1. EYELID SOAK/HOT COMPRESS : Soak a clean washcloth with warm tap water. Microwave the wet washcloth for a short period of time - seconds, not minutes. Its temperature should be hot but not scalding. Apply the thoroughly moistened, hot washcloth over the closed eyes for at least 10 minutes. You will likely need to re-warm the washcloth in the microwave or with hot water as it will cool with time.
2. EYELID SCRUB : Place a pea-sized amount of baby shampoo in your palm. Dilute with water and form a lather. Using either your finger wrapped around a thin wash cloth or a cotton swab, gently scrub the base of the upper and lower eyelids. Then, rinse the closed eyes thoroughly with water. If preferred, instead of baby shampoo, moistened pads with a gentle soap called EyeScrubs (Ciba Vision) or OcuWipes may be used. These products may be purchased at the pharmacy.
NOTE: Eyelid inflammation, blepharitis and meibomitis, are chronic conditions that cannot be cured. However, the signs and symptoms can be controlled with these simple, daily hygienic measures. The above method is the most effective way of performing eyelid hygiene. The time and effort involved is necessary to achieve the desired results.
In some patients, effective eyelid hygiene alone is not enough to control their symptoms. Under such circumstances, your doctor may recommend certain medications:
Artificial tears (over-the-counter tear supplements), such as Refresh, Systane, Genteal, Optive, etc.
Antibiotic ointment, applied to the eyelashes after eyelid hygiene, to decrease the amount of bacteria.
Oral Antibiotics, such as Doxycyline, for six weeks or more, to alter the lipids produced by the meibomian glands.
Steroid eye drops (for short term use only), to decrease inflammation.
Please note that medications alone are not sufficient to control blepharitis or meibomitis, eyelid hygiene is the most important step in treating these chronic conditions.