If I could have completely prevented Blepharitis - there's no way I would have created BondiEyes.
For me, a cure or complete prevention always seemed out of reach.
I would diligently clean my eyes, use warm compress and even take antibiotics.
This would provide relief for a couple months, only for flareups to come back.
But one thing I have learnt. You can reduce the severity and frequency of flareups by following these tips.
If this is the first time you have symptoms, pay close attention! Early, proper eye hygiene measures will give you the best chance of preventing your blepharitis becoming chronic.
8 Tips To Help Nip Blepharitis in the bud:
1) GOODBYE Dirty/Old Makeup Applicators
Mascara wands, eyelash curlers, and makeup brushes. These can all harvest bacteria that cause inflammation around the eyelids.
The eyelid is vulnerable to common bacteria such as Staph. This bacteria often exists living inside nasal passages of healthy people.
Each time you use a dirty applicator, you are potentially spreading the bacteria to the eyes.
It might be worth replacing all your applicators, and not using the new ones until you are confident the irritation and infection has subsided.
2) Go Easy With The Makeup
Makeup clogs up pores, glands and prevents the eyelid performing it's natural cleaning function.
I've previously mentioned the importance of healthy tears and how the glands must produce enough oil to prevent dry eyes.
Mascara and eyeliner can directly limit these healthy oils from being produced.
Leaving makeup on overnight can further amplify this negative effect. A big night out shouldn't be an excuse. Get all your makeup off before you crash - particularly if you're having a flareup!
Reduce the frequency and amount of makeup you apply and your eyes will thank you.
3) Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
If your Blepharitis is caused by dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows, it may help to use an anti-dandruff shampoo.
Using this type of shampoo on your scalp and eyebrows can prevent debris from falling into your eyes, as well as improving your skin condition. This can ultimately reduce the skin irritation around the eyelids.
Just be careful you don't get this strong shampoo in your eyes. It's very irritating (speaking from personal experience).
4) Contact Lenses Are So 2006
In the same vein as makeup - try minimising the use of contact lenses.
These can increase the likelihood of a flareup due to a foreign object being inside the eye. Contact lenses also have the potential to spread infection if your fingertips are not clean.
If you're serious about preventing flareups - try wearing glasses wherever possible.
5) Don't Rub Your Eyes!
This goes without saying - everytime you touch your eyes you potentially trasmit bacteria into your eyelid.
Let's not take the risk and leave the eyes alone.
Additionally, rubbing eyes can also increase the redness around the eyelids. Just like when you rub a mosquito bite, the inflammation and itchiness becomes worse - it's the same with your eyes.
6) You Are What You Eat
I've previously discussed the relationship between diet and Blepharitis. Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been shown to improve other eye conditions, such as macular disease and cataracts.
There have been countless reports that omega fatty acids can help symptoms of Blepharitis and Dry Eyes.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids reduce the amount of inflammatory cells around the body. It has also been suggested that these fatty acids help improve the quality of oils secreted from the eyelid glands. This could ultimately produce healthier tears and help unblock glands.
This particular research group used flaxseed oil capsules as opposed to fish oil capsules. The rationale was that flaxseed didn't have a fishy after-taste!
Feel free to snack out on fresh Salmon, mackerel, chia seeds and walnuts.
Be mindful that if there are foods such as diary, gluten, eggs or nuts you are allergic to - it might be wise to avoid these. Such foods can increase inflammation around your eyes if you are allergic to them.
Yes this means you may need to cut out booze until you determine the source of your inflammation!
7) Washing Your Face Properly
All the natural oils and sweat accumulates throughout the day, so try to wash your face before bed. This prevents bacteria forming on the pillowcase and irritating the eye.
Another tip is to avoid washing your face with your shower towel. The last thing you want is bacteria being transferred from your nether regions into your eyes! Use a separate face towel if you can.
Skin around the face and eyes can also get a bit dry with Blepharitis, so try to use a moisturising cream to help keep your skin hydrated.
8) Keep Blinking
Did you know blinking helps gets the glands moving and the right juices flowing around the eyes?
As we move more and more into the digital age - staring at screens for FAR too long - our eyes get neglected.
By performing blinking exercises 20 times, a few times a day, you can ensure your eyes are well lubricated.
While Blepharitis may be a life-long struggle, minimising flareups can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.
Instilling good habits around eye hygiene and diet can help in your fight against Blepharitis.