Red, scaly itchy eyelids are something that many people have had for many years, and think that it is normal. I recently had a conversation with a man who had a very bad case of this common eyelid condition, called Blepharitis:
Me “You have inflamed eyelids, which is very likely contributing to your dry eye symptoms, and there is a simple, inexpensive remedy you could use.” (I was thinking about an MGDRx Eyebag.)
Him “They have always been like that.”
Me “But it is not normal.”
Him “It’s normal for me!”
Me “But there is a way to fix it.”
Him “Is it going to kill me?”
Him “Well I’m not interested [In my fix] then.”
I am sure that he had the distinct impression that I was trying to sell him something to cure a condition that he had never heard of, and had no complaint about. I did feel like the “Snake Oil” salesman coming into the the wild west town with a cure for every ailment.
Blepharitis is often caused by blocked glands in the eyelids- these glands naturally have bacteria living in them, but when the glands get blocked, the bacterial waste is trapped, which causes inflammation – swelling and redness of the eyelids. The skin gets dry and flaky, the eyelashes show crystals sticking to them, and the individual has the appearance of red rimmed eyes. I think that people notice this, perhaps subconsciously, and assume that they are tired, or have had a hard night.
We actually stopped selling the MGDRx Eyebags, because I felt so bad trying to sell something to cure a condition the “sufferer” was unaware they had, and had never heard of. At the time, with the exchange rate to the pound, they could get it cheaper direct from the manufacturer than we could manage- we were paying a middle man in Ireland, and had to add VAT. We were making nothing on them, and I still felt bad trying to “sell” them. Sometimes an Eyebag alone will not fix this condition, but along with meticulous lid hygiene we can usually get this to clear up without resorting to medicines such as antibiotics.
The reason for the post…..
I had a man in last week who had a family history of Wet Macular Degeneration, with complaints of visual distortion in his Right Eye. I referred him to The Mater Private Retinal Clinic, hoping that he did not have this problem, but he does. He was seen on Tuesday, and was given his first injection into the eye that day. If this man had had active Blepharitis he would not have been able to get this injection- Blepahritis is an absolute contraindication to IntraVitreal Injections, because of the risk of infection inside the eye.
Blepharitis can take a good while to clear up, either Medically with antibiotics, or with the Eyebag – It may not kill you, but it may mean that you cannot have the injections your eye requires to save your sight.
You can order an MGDRx Eyebag here.