Blepharitis and Dry Eyes isn't a sexy topic. It's not something you talk to friends about over a few drinks. Who wants to know you have to shampoo your eyes every 2nd night, so crust doesn't build up?
Until now, celebrities weren't rushing to the spotlight to tell their story. Only recently celebrities have shared their struggles with Blepharitis and Dry Eye disease.
Let's take a look at five celebs
1) Jennifer Aniston
In this video - Jen talks about her daily struggle with dry, itchy and irritated eyes.
"I used artificial tears from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. If I left the house without them, I would panic."
Her symptoms got so bad, she had trouble reading scripts. Jen thought she just had allergies (note - antihistamines can make dry eyes worse!).
She realised the tears did not provide sustainable relief, and had to do something about it. Jen's message was simple - show your eyes some eyelove by talking to your eye doctor. Once the cause(s) of your symptoms is known, you can finally start living symptom-free.
"There are too many beautiful things to see and do to let Chronic Dry Eye get in your way." - Jennifer Anniston
2) Marisa Tomei
Marisa, like Jennifer became 'addicted to eye drops' because of her symptoms. It all came down to a lack of awareness. She didn't consider her dry eyes a medical issue, so didn't seek help until later.
"It was a gritty feeling – my eyes felt tired and my vision fluctuated. I thought it was old, tired eyes – I didn’t know it was a thing until I talked to my doctor. So, I felt relieved to find something that helped me but it took me going to the doctor to know that."
While not a life-threatening condition, dry eyes can impact daily life. It's not until symptoms begin to clear that you realise the extent of this impact.
Marisa used Restatis to help her dry eyes. Restatis increases tear production, by reducing inflammation around the eye.
*Marissa is a paid advocate for Restatis.
3) Zooey Deschanel
The star from New Girl was can with small bumps around her eyelid. While not an advocate for chronic eye conditions - (can you blame her?) - it's likely these bumps were the result of having blepharitis. Styes, chalazions and cysts around the eyelid can form when glands become blocked due to inflammation.
I can only imagine how difficult it must be for such a high-profile actress to have blepharitis. Common advice is to refrain from using makeup such as eyeliner during a flareup. But when you've got to show up for an awards night, can you blame Zoey?
Hats off to Zoey for making a public appearance, despite her eye condition. We can take a leaf out of her book, and never let vanity get the better of us!
4) Kyle Richards
If you're in reality TV shows, being able to tear-up is a pre-requisite. So you can only imagine the difficulty Kyle Richards faced when she was unable to produce tears due to an eye condition.
After filming Season 1 of Real House Wives of Beverly Hills - Kyle had to constantly use artificial tears. This meant she had to step away from production and even hide under tables to replenish her eyes.
Like Marissa, Kyle thought she was just dehydrated. Kyle had been using artificial tears for years. After seeing her eye doctor, she was diagnosed with Chronic Dry Eye Disease.
Kyle reported significant improvement after using Restatis. (Allergan's marketing team have been going all-in with their celebrity endorsements, right?)
“When I was filming, I was constantly turning away from the camera, putting drops in my eyes — then my mascara would run,” -
Judging by the tears in later episodes, I'd say she's on the mend.
5) Bradley Walsh
One for the gentlemen!
If you're from outside the UK, you may have never heard of him.
But entertainer, singer, ex-football player, gameshow host is a big deal to the Brits. He also features on Youtube with some hilarious laughing fits.
Earlier this year, Bradley admitted to suffering from blepharitis. His inflamed, swollen eyes often looked like he had had a 'big night' on the booze.
Bradley's red eyes meant viewers would often confuse the host as being 'drunk' or 'stoned'.
He mentioned in an interview that his Blepharitis is so bad, he is in discussion about having his eye 'operated on'.
I can't imagine what procedure that would involve, but here's wishing Bradley all the best with his eyes.
No-one is immune to chronic eye conditions such as blepharitis and dry eye disease.
Eye conditions can be so insidious, it can take years before proper treatment is undertaken.
What struck me most, was that these celebrities would have symptoms for years before undergoing treatment. Telling stories around your Blepharitis or chronic dry eyes will help create awareness.
Late is better than never - so make sure you visit your eye doctor to determine the best course of treatment.