Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Clean your eyes daily
If you have blepharitis, follow this self-care remedy once or twice a day:
- Apply a warm compress over your closed eye for several minutes to loosen the crusty deposits on your eyelids.
- Immediately afterward, use a washcloth moistened with warm water and a few drops of baby shampoo to wash away any oily debris or scales at the base of your eyelashes.
- In some cases, you may need to be more deliberate about cleaning the edge of your eyelid where your eyelashes are located. To do this, gently pull your eyelid away from your eye and use the washcloth to gently wash the area. This helps avoid damaging your cornea with the washcloth. Ask your doctor whether you should use a topical antibiotic ointment after cleaning your eyelids in this way.
- Rinse your eyelid with warm water and gently pat it dry with a clean, dry towel.
Continue this treatment until your signs and symptoms disappear. Although you may be able to decrease the frequency of eyelid soaking and washing, you should maintain an eyelid-care routine to keep the condition under control. If you experience a flare-up, resume once- or twice-daily self-care treatment.
It also may be a good idea to stop using eye makeup when your eyelids are inflamed. Makeup can make it harder to keep your eyelids clean and free of debris, and it's possible that makeup could reintroduce bacteria to the area or cause an allergic reaction.
If you have dandruff that's contributing to your blepharitis, ask your doctor to recommend a dandruff shampoo. Using a dandruff-controlling shampoo may relieve your blepharitis signs and symptoms.
- Preferred Practice Patterns Guidelines. Blepharitis — Limited Revision. San Francisco, Ca.: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2011. http://one.aao.org/ce/practiceguidelines/ppp_content.aspx?cid=500cd9ca-173c-4c31-b6ea-a258e3549474. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Shtein RM. Blepharitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Bernardes TF, et al. Blepharitis. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2010;25:79.
- Facts about blepharitis. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/blepharitis/blepharitis.asp. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Blepharitis. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4718.xml. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., Dec. 31, 2011.