My Experience with Blepharitis

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Hi all, I am currently a medical student who has been suffering from blepharitis for over 2 years now. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience of the condition, and some of the things that I have personally found helpful in managing the symptoms.

I think a lot of the frustration surrounding patients suffering from blepharitis is due to the insufficiency of current medical practice in dealing with such chronic, incurable conditions. As many of you may already know, the current gold standard for managing blepharitis is utilising heat compress (for around 5-10 minutes), followed by lid hygiene techniques (warm water and baby shampoo to cleanse the eyelids are often recommended). In addition, doctors routinely prescribe topical eye drops in order to hydrate the ocular surface. In my experience, such steps, whilst contributory, are NOT sufficient to effectively control symptoms. My encounter with several independent ophthalmologists suggests that doctors often also do not recognise the severity of symptoms, and what a tremendous impact the condition may have on one's quality of life. 

With these in mind, I wanted to share some of the techniques that I am currently using on a daily basis (I shall leave a link to all the relevant material at the end). I want to stress that these are all from my own experiences, and thus may not necessarily be translatable to everyone. Furthermore, I would like to clarify that I am not endorsed by any of the product manufacturers that I may mention. 

[u]Heat compress and lid hygiene[/u]

Firstly, I do continue with the heat compress and lid hygiene technique twice daily. I believe this remains a critical step that must not be overlooked. I use a microwaveable compress termed ‘The Eye Doctor' for around 10 minutes, followed by massaging of the eyelids, with gentle strokes with the fingers in the direction of the eyelid margin. Following the advice from one of my ophthalmologists, I have ceased to use baby shampoo, and now use a solution specifically developed for blepharitis, called 'Blephasol'. I use this solution to clean the eyelid margin with cotton buds. It is imperative that you perform this on a daily basis. 

[u]Eye drops[/u]

With respect to eye drops, I have tried over 10 different brands, including more viscous formulations and liposomal sprays - most of which I have found to be grossly ineffective, with relief lasting for a matter of seconds. Recently, I came across the use of Manuka honey in eye drops. There has been some research in this area that has demonstrated that manuka honey may effectively reduce the overgrowth of ocular flora that is commonly associated with patients with chronic lid disease. After having used a particular eye drop called 'Optimel' for the last few months, I have noticed significant improvements. It has been designed to be an adjunctive therapy and is not a replacement for hydrating eye drops. For this, I have found 'Hycosan - Extra', to be the most beneficial. 


It is common knowledge that exercise holds immense health benefits. For a patient that is suffering daily from pain, it may understandably not be a priority - at least, it was not for me. However, I found that regular exercise has been perhaps the factor that has made the strongest impact on my symptoms. Whilst I cannot explain the exact mechanisms for this, I believe that the importance of exercise is not stressed adequately in the context of blepharitis. I would implore you to take 30 minutes every day (or however often you can), to get involved with moderate-high intensity exercise. Even it does not directly influence the pathology of blepharitis per se, it will most definitely make a positive impact on both your physical and mental well-being - often factors that may be overlooked when one is concerned with one particular condition. 

[u]Omega-3 tablets[/u]

The oral administration of omega-3 is also currently recommended in current practice. Studies have shown that fairly high doses of omega-3 tablets (around 4x 1,000mg per day) may be effective in reducing symptoms. In real life, it is difficult to discern whether there are any benefits, due to the fact that patients typically utilise several management modalities, and it often takes 6 months of continuous effort to gain benefit from omega-3 supplementation. Currently, I take a product called 'Omega Eye' on the recommended dosage. 

[u]Other factors[/u]

I have found that it is important to condition your body appropriately at all times. It is important that you remain hydrated, as this may have a direct influence on your eye symptoms. It would be advisable to be cautious of any additional agents such as caffeine, that may contribute to dehydration. Other factors, such as wind and air conditioning, are also known to further dehydrate the eyes and should be avoided if possible. Computer-use places a strain on the eyes, and increases the time interval between blinking - however, this is often difficult to reduce, particularly for students and those working alike. I have found that frequent blinking exercises, as well as making a conscious effort to take frequent breaks from the computer screen, may also be helpful. 

Here is a list of all the products mentioned:

1. The Eye Doctor -

2. Blephasol -

3. Optimel -

4. Hycosan Extra -

5. Omega Eye -


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  • Posted

    You mention eye flora but not gut flira which has a lot to say about all flora in the body. I take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in six to eight ounces of water first rhong on the morning. I do this to maintain the healthy gut flora I achieved after taking doxycycline for many months. 

    When i gotworried that i might have to be on anti-boiotics for life i decided to stop the two weeks on/two weeks off routine and switched to apple cuder vinegar. 

    Another daily a m and p m toutine is “scrubbing” as the gentle back and forth cleansing motion is dubbed, with a few drops of tea tree oil in a dab of baby shampoo. Very effective whether your bleph is anterior or exterior. 

    Continued luck with your routines.  You show that this affliction does not have to affect your life, just your daily hygiene routines. 

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  • Posted

    Dear hyun.park,

    I found it to be a Staph infection in my lashes and used the Wet Ones, antibacterial hand wipes and killed it in just over 3 months. The last couple of months I used them only 2 times a day. It has been 5 years and has not come back. 

    The doctor said I was one of the lucky ones. It wasn't luck, it was a desperate solution for a desperate situation. A friend used an Avon antibacterial facial scrub and killed hers first. She did it in 3-4 days. It contained .5% Benzethonium. I could not find a product with that in any longer so ended up with the wipes as they had .3% Benzethonium Chloride. It took a little longer but it worked.

    Hope this helps in your research.


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  • Posted

    Thank you for posting such a comprehensive and helpful guide. I managed to get rid of my blepharitis using a similar though not quite identical protocol.

    The heat compress and lid hygene definately helped especially once I increased the heat compress time from five to eight minutes. I now use the heat compress once or twice a week and more at any time I feel my eyes are a little dry. I clean my lids every night. I also went to an opticians who offered a slightly more intense lid cleaning and i will continue this every three months in a preventative measure.

    The Manuka honey drops you mention also helped a lot and I still use them a few times a week.I'm getting used to the stinging!

    Interesting you mention excercise, I didnt do this as part of an anti blepharitis programme but do a lot of sport any way so maybe this contributed to my recovery.

    In my case I also had eyelid eczema (and so I presume Straph A infection) which I assume was a catalyst for my blepharitis. So I have spent a lot of time trying to work out what eye make up might be causing this. I also found an organic manuka honey moisturiser helped relieve the eye eczema so that also became part of my blepharitis tool kit.

    Finally I really made an effort to blink and relax my eyes during the day. As you say screen time is very bad for reducing the amount of time we blink and also the quality of the blinking. I really try to look outside and blink fully every half an hour. I am still working on making this more of a reflex but I think it is an important one to ensure our eyes have the amount of hydration they are supposed to get.

    I had blepharitis for about a year and at its worst I had recurring conjunctivitis and couldn't wear either contacts or eye make up. I have been able to resume contacts and make up and so far have been blepharitis for over two months (not even the slightest itch). Its still early days but fingers crossed.

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