Updated: Feb 15
Blepharitis is the most frequent eye diagnosis in general practice. It's an inflammation of the margins of the eyelids (where the eyelashes grow from).
Blephar is Latin for eye lid/lash, and the suffix itis denotes an inflammation.
Its causes can be various, and include bacterial (staphylococcal) infection of the eyelids or tear ducts , acne rosacea, clogged oil glands at the base of the eyelashes, dermatitis of the face and scalp (areas where there are more sebaceous glands) and allergic reactions.
Common Symptoms of Blepharitis include:
- Swollen eyelids with red margins
- Waking up with crusted eye lid margins that are glued together
- Loss of eyelashes
- Photophobia (sensitivity to bright light)
- Watering eyes
- Red eyes that can be dry even though there is profuse watering
- Gritty/ burning/stinging/ itching sensations in the eyes/ eyelids
- A feeling that there is something in the eye
Usually both eyes are involved and symptoms are generally worse in the morning.
The condition can be accompanied by pustules (little abscesses containing pus) at the base of the eyelashes, and these can develop into shallow ulcers (ulcerative blepharitis).
Styes can also be associated with blepharitis. These are bacteria infected glands on the eyelid margins, or under the eyelid - containing pus.
Conventional treatment is with antibiotics or steroid medication – depending on the cause. In homeopathic terms, both these treatments are considered highly suppressive and not curative in the long term.
In homeopathy, the best remedy for your individual case of blepharitis, is dependent on your individual symptoms. Below I have listed my top 20 remedies for the condition, although there are many more. Each remedy has a brief description of the type of blepharitis symptoms it is likely to help.
Clearly - red, swollen eyelids and watering eyes are going to be common to most blepharitis cases. So, what you are looking for when you try to pick a remedy, are symptoms that are more individual to you personally– what is unusual about your particular blepharitis case?
Another good way of differentiating between remedies is to focus on your worst symptom. For example, many of the remedies have photophobia, but if it is a really marked symptom for you - where you need to sit in a darkened room - then that narrows it down to a smaller number of remedies.
It is the more outstanding features of each remedy that I have focussed on below.
Top 20 Remedies for Blepharitis
For heavy, red, swollen eyelids that may also be itchy. The lower lids can be more swollen than the upper ones.
Eyes are sore and irritated with a burning/stinging sensation - and may feel sensitive to light. Watering from the eyes feels hot. The whites of the eyes can be red and bloodshot.
Symptoms are worse for heat, better for cold compresses.
Mental emotional picture – jealousy
Can be caused by allergic reactions.
Great for eye infections in newborn babies.
The inner corners of the eyes are red and swollen – and the eyes can be hot and dry.
The eyelids are red, swollen and can have thick crusts that can stick the lids together in the morning.
The eyes discharge smelly, creamy yellow pus.
Eyes can be sensitive to the light. Vision may be blurred.
Swollen, red, raw, burning eyelids.
Eyes burning, gritty and sensitive to light.
Water from the eyes feels like it’s burning the skin.
Despite the burning sensations, symptoms may feel better for the application of heat.
Mental emotional picture – restless anxiety.
Can be caused by anger, anxiety and overexertion of the mind
For swollen, painful eyelids.
Red, bloodshot, burning, dry, itching eyes.
Painful feeling of pressure in the eyes, worse on closing the eyes or moving them.
Very sensitive to light – photophobia.
Eyes may feel gritty.
Worse for light or heat.
Mental emotional picture – angry/fearful
Can be caused by getting head wet.
Belladonna blepharitis often comes on with a common cold.
Red, crusty, sticky, gummy eyelids.
Eyelashes may turn inwards onto the eyeball causing irritation.
Inflamed eyelids that cut against the eyeball.
May see bright waves in vision.
Worse for any downward motion
Mental emotional picture – fearful, nervous, jumpy
Similar symptoms to Belladonna (Belladonna is often the acute state of a Calc carb constitution) but with discharge from the eyes.
Thick, creamy, nasty smelling discharge oozes from the eyes. Eyelids can get glued together.
Eyes feel gritty, sensitive to light and are watering.
Eyelashes may fall out. Eyes may feel tired.
Mental emotional picture – Confused, depressed and fearful.
Calc carb blepharitis often comes on with a common cold.
For red eyes and red, swollen eyelids. Hot/ acrid (burning) watery discharge – as if swimming in tears. Sensitivity to light. There can be sticky eye gum.
Eyes are sore and there can be a burning/ biting/ gritty sensation which they want to rub. Frequent blinking.
May be accompanied by a bland runny nasal discharge.
Worse in the morning & evening, for coughing, for light, for wind.
Euphrasia blepharitis often comes on with a common cold. It is also useful for eye inflammation following injury.
Eyes are red, dry and burning, with profuse watering. Marked photophobia.
The eyelids can be very red, inflamed and swollen - and can stick together at night.
The lid edges are dry and itching and this creates a desire to rub the eyes.
There can be crusts/flakes around the base of the eyelashes.
Symptoms are better in the dark.
Mental emotional picture – moody and depressed
Often associated with skin conditions such as eczema of the eyelids. There may be cracks in the canthi (corners of the eye where the eyelids meet)
Unusual symptom – opening the lids may cause sneezing
Eyelids red and highly swollen.
Throbbing stinging pains in the eyes, sore to touch, worse during the day. There can be eruptions around the inflamed eye – such as little pimples. They eyes may feel as if they are being pulled back into the head.
Better for warm applications.
Mental emotional picture – irritable and touchy. Over sensitive to stimuli, especially pain, noise, light and cold.
Can be caused by mental strain.
Can be associated with ulcers of the eyes, and pus discharging from the eyes.
Eyes water in the day. Creamy discharge from the eyes. Eyes very sensitive to light. Eyes painful, as if bruised. Sparks before the eyes. Eyes feel cold/hot/ too large.
Eyelids glued together, unable to open in the morning. Eyelids red, smarting and burning.
Mental emotional picture – anxious, dislikes contradiction
This is a common remedy used to treat inherited predisposition to blepharitis, which can be used in cases where other well indicated remedies have failed or have stopped working. This kind of treatment is best carried out under the guidance of your homeopath.
The eyelid margins are thick, red and swollen – often worse in the upper eyelid. Lids stuck together in the morning. There may be twitching of the eyelids.
There is a burning sensation in the eyes, which ache and water profusely – the tears are burning (acrid).
Acrid (burning), thick, creamy yellow/green discharge from the eyes.
Eyes are sensitive to light.
Worse for warmth of bed, any strong heat or cold - better moderate temperature.
Mental emotional picture – discontented, restless mind. They feel tired and ill.
Mercurius blepharitis often comes on with a common cold
Use Nat carb when photophobia is the most prominent symptom.
Eyes may feel dry, with burning/ shooting/ needle-like pains. Watering in the afternoon.
Eyelids are swollen and heavy and can stick together in the morning.
Mental emotional picture – feel miserable, but put on a brave face
Unusual symptom - burning pain in eyes after passing stool
Where the eyes feel particularly gritty (like there is sand in them), and this sensation is worse in the mornings. They can feel bruised and there may be pain when looking down. There is also marked photophobia. Eyes can close spasmodically (suddenly, involuntarily).
There is also a burning sensation in the eyes, that feels worse in the evenings.
The eyes are red and watery (the tears are acrid – burning) and feel sticky in the morning.
Tears stream down face on coughing, sneezing, laughing, in the open air, or wind – also when reading.
Mental emotional picture – closed people that carry silent grief
Can be caused by suppressed emotions.
Marginal blepharitis (of the margins of the lids – where the eye lashes grow from)
Burning pain in the eyes.
Opening the eyelids is difficult in the morning.
Associated with dry skin around the eyes and loss of eyelashes. The canthi – the corners of the eyes - can be cracked (fissured).
Eyes are sticky in the morning, and there is a thick, creamy, smelly, yellow discharge from the corners of the eyes.
Eyes aching, burning, itching. They water in cold air/wind/ with a cough.
Better for cold applications, a cold room and for fresh air.
Mental emotional picture – weepy, clingy (children want to be carried)
Sticky eyes in newborn babies often need Pulsatilla.
Pulsatilla blepharitis often comes on with a common cold
Can be caused by getting wet.
Sore, watering eyes, sensitive to light.
Profuse gush of hot tears on opening eyes.
Eyelids swollen, itching, glued together.
Pustular (pus filled) inflammations. Can be a profuse flow of yellow pus.
Worse for moving the eyes
Mental emotional picture – irritability and frustration.
Can be caused by getting wet/chilled.
Think of eyelids sticking together for Silica – especially first thing in the morning.
Eyes are sore and inflamed, are tender to touch and feel worse for exposure to cold air. There may be photophobia, grittiness and a throbbing/tearing/shooting/stinging pain in the eyes.
Eyes may water, and this can worsen in open air.
There is a smarting sensation in the eyelids, which is worse for closing the eyes.
Tear ducts can be swollen due to blockage/ infection.
Worse for cold air, worse when eyes are closed.
Can be caused by a foreign body in the eye.
Itching and smarting in the corners of the eyes.
Bursting, burning pain in eyeballs. Worse for touch.
Eyes feel dry - with watering.
Mental emotional picture – angry, sensitive to rudeness.
Can be caused by suppressed anger, indignation, puncture wounds.
Dry crusts on eyelashes, eyelashes fall out. Eyes glued together in the morning. Bursting pain in the eyeballs. Eyes look bloodshot.
The inner surface of the eyelids is dry (if so they feel gritty), red and inflamed – there is burning, smarting pain and itching on the edges of the eyelids, with an inclination to rub them. Itching – only during the day.
There is a biting sensation in the eyes and they water – especially in the evening. Tears feel hot.
Worse for washing the eyes.
Can be caused by a foreign body in the eye.
Recurrent Blepharitis and Deeper Treatment
Blepharitis is, unfortunately, a condition that often tends to recur. Whilst acute prescribing can be a fantastic help in the short term, constitutional treatment is often needed to address the deeper cause of the condition.
A homeopath can look at your symptoms in their wider context, as part of your totatillity of symptoms - everything that makes you who you are - including your physical, mental and emotional symptoms, life history and family medical history,
This type of homeopathy can begin to root out the deeper origins of this stubborn eye condition, whilst addressing any other health issues at the same time.
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