The delicate eye does so much hard work and needs to be looked after. Eyelids act as shutters for the eyes. They protect the eye ball and help lubricate the eye. Eye lids contain oil secreting glands that contribute to the tear film.
Eyelid problems can range from inflammation to infection to twitching. Problems with eyelids are very common and can be easily treated. Dry eyes occur when there aren’t enough tears on the front of the eyes. This can cause aggravation to the eye through itching, grittiness and irritation. Symptoms can be easily treated. Dry eyes can also cause problems with the eyelids.
Dry eyes can also cause an inflammation of the eyelids known as blepharitis. Symptoms include crusting of the lashes on waking and itchiness. This can encourage inflammation, swelling and redness. This inflammation will upset tear production and cause dry eye. Seek professional advice. Treatment can include artificial tears, ointment or gels.
Cysts can occur on the upper or lower lid. They can vary in size and often cause no problems. Cysts often come and go. However, if a cyst becomes infected, it will become painful and red. Holding a clean face cloth warmed with hot water over the closed eye can assist in healing the eyelid. Repeat four times daily. See your doctor if the cyst is painful and does not go away. Do not confuse a cyst with a stye.
When you are tired, you will notice that your eyelid may flicker or twitch occasionally. This is quite common. If your eyelid spasms through excessive blinking and your eyes involuntarily close, seek medical advice. Sometimes eyelid spasming can be caused by bright lights or fatigue.
Drooping or low lying eyelids can be present at birth, be a result of the aging process, be caused by nerve injury or even migraines. This condition, also known as ptosis, causes the upper eyelid to droop or sag, which can cover part or all of the eye. Treatments for low lying eyelids include eye exercises, eyelid crutches, eyedrops, surgery to tighten the muscle that raises the eyelid, or botox injections to lift the eyelid. However, it is best to consult your optometrist for the most appropriate guidance.
If you have an eyelid problem that makes blinking difficult, this can quickly cause dry eyes. Blinking distributes a constant film of tears over the eye surface. Eyelid inflammation may cause the tears to evaporate too quickly and may cause the tears to not spread smoothly across the eye. This will cause dry eye syndrome.
Many people think tears are made up of water. Tears are actually a complex combination of water, mucus and fatty oils. If you have an eyelid infection, tear production may be greatly decreased which will ultimately lead to dry eyes. Look at the Allergan website for information on how to care for dry eyes. Most eyelid problems do not affect vision in the long term but can cause burning and the feeling of debris in the eye. It is important to look after the eyelid, as it is critical to the health of the underlying eye. Warm compresses, eye exercises and a nutritional eating plan can all support good eye health and help prevent dry eye. It is also important to follow good eyelid hygiene.
Written by Emma Jane
Emma Jane worked as a nutritionist for 5 years before she quit her job to be a stay-home mom of two boys.