How to diagnose blepharitis and what are the common sings and first symptoms of blepharitis.
When it comes to eye infections like Blepharitis, Demodex mites play a pivotal role. They may also be the reason for corneal lesions and other meibomian gland problems, (which create oils to lubricate the eyes). In fact, since Demodex mites tend to spread in the skin, ocular infestation can be directly linked to an infestation in the rest of the body.
While Demodex-Blepharitis is commonly diagnosed by doctors, better diagnostic methods need to be devised due to the doubtful and unpredictable pathogenic role of Demodex. There is, however, a basic diagnosis criteria present. Usually, the patient with an ocular problem is tested for his or her clinical history, so as to judge if any previous condition may have potentially led to a Demodex infestation. In adult patients, the presence of conjunctivitis is particularly tested for, while younger patients often have their medical history searched, for a history of Recurrent Chalazia. This is because the density of Demodex infestation is directly proportional to age.
Apart from the patient’s history, the sufferer is checked for symptoms such as dandruff or dryness around the eyelashes. The effectiveness of this diagnostic symptom, however, was much debated upon, (until quite recently). Through a microscope it is possible to see the mites; however, it has now been proven that a doctor may diagnose the presence of Demodex eggs or adult mites without using a microscope.
Once Demodex Blepharitis is diagnosed, there are several treatments present for different stages of severity of the condition. A common recommendation is to use cleansing ointments that need to be applied to the eyelid directly to trap the mites and prevent them from spreading. Some such suggested ones are Pilocarpine Gel, Camphorated Oil and Sulfur Ointment. However, some of these may not be entirely effective since one of the Demodex species, D. folliculorum, is all but immune to antimicrobials like Metronidazole.
They are also resistant against antiseptics with 75% alcohol but can be eliminated by using tea-tree oil. This is a highly effective cleansing agent that removes the cylindrical dandruff on the roots of the eyelashes and causes the mites to move out of the eyes and onto the facial skin instead. Scrubbing with tea tree oil daily can, therefore, provide the hygiene your eye needs to escape Blepharitis. Tea tree oil not only has the ability to kill Demodex mites, but is also able to prevent them from mating, thus effecting their life cycle.
It can, therefore, significantly reduce inflammation and several other symptoms like redness of the eye, itching in the cornea and swelling of the lid. It also acts as an antifungal and antibacterial treatment; it can substantially reduce inflammation. However, the treatment of Blepharitis can not be solely attributed to tea tree oil, since killing mites is not enough to treat the condition. It must be used in a combination with treatment strategies like oral antibiotic, such as Tetracycline, so as to eliminate the bacterial symptoms and to improve the hygiene and the appearance of the eyelid.
While there are several solutions present, you need to combine them to ensure that you provide your eye with the treatment that it needs.