Whilst researching a treatment regime for my blepharitis problems I came across a host of information about eyelid health in general. It seems that there are many eyelid problems ranging from infection to eyelid droopiness, but normally there’s no need for concern. Having said that, if you experience an ongoing eyelid problem which causes you discomfort or causes your eye to water you should seek the advice of your GP.
As well as blepharitis I came across the following problems:[gard]
Itchy eyelids are often caused by blepharitis (see here for my guide to treating blepharitis) but there are other causes which can contribute to itchy eyelids or a sensation of grittiness underneath the eyelids. Chief among these is contact dermatitis which is a form of eczema. This type of eczema is caused by coming into contact with something that sparks an allergic reaction (hence the name). This can be more of a problem for women as their eyes are coming into contact with eye makeup and nail polish on a more regular basis. This form of eczema normally clears up once exposure to the substance is stopped.
Droopy Eyelids (Dermatochalasis)
Another symptom of the aging process, as we get older it becomes more common for excess skin to form above the upper eyelid. If the condition becomes serious enough the excess skin can overhang and impede your vision.
A similar problem is ptosis. Ptosis is the medical name for the condition when the edge of your upper eyelid hangs down and prevents your eye from opening fully.
Both ptosis and dermatochalasis can be treated with surgery if they affect your vision.
It’s worth noting that both these conditions normally come on gradually over time and affect people in the older age bracket. So, if you find these symptoms developing rapidly you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
Ectropion is the condition where the lower eyelid tends to droop away and turn outwards from the eye. As well as old age this condition can be caused by sun damaged. In most cases no intervention is needed but if it’s causing you major discomfort you need to seek the advice of a GP who may recommend surgery.
As opposed to the above condition, entropion is the problem of an eyelid rolling inwards. It’s more common in the lower eyelid but can affect both.
As the lashes are rolling inwards towards the eye it can often cause some discomfort including watery eyes. This can normally be treated by self administered eye drops.
In severe cases this complaint can damage the eye resulting in loss of vision. An ulcer can form on the cornea which could then become infected. If this happens surgery may be the only solution. The process is not considered a major operation and normally takes less than an hour.
Lumps can form anywhere on the skin and the eyelids are no exception. Most lumps are not problematic but if you have an eyelid lump which changes size or shape or begins to bleed you should seek the advice of a doctor.
This is the medical term for yellow plaque patches which can appear above the upper eyelid. They are not harmful but can be a strong indicator that you have high cholesterol. As such, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a doctor regarding your general health.
Blepharospasm is a condition where the sufferer experiences repeated spasms of the eye. This is not to be confused with bouts of involuntary blinking or ‘twitching’ which can often simply be the result of tiredness. Rather these more severe spasms last up to 5 minutes.
No one knows the precise cause of this problem but if may be brought on by bouts of stress or tiredness.
If this problem becomes severe it can cause the sufferer a lot of embarrassment. A simple treatment is available which involves small injections of botox to alleviate the spasming. You will need to seek the advice of your GP, if you want to proceed this operation.