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Blepharitis and corneal scarring

(10 Posts)
Undercovamutha Sat 16-Jan-10 18:32:18

Hoping someone will know a bit about Blepharitis, especially in children.

My DD was diagnosed about 7 months ago with Blepharitis (eyelid infection). It was also confirmed that she had a bit of scarring on her cornea, which they thought was as a result of the blepharitis. We spent 3 months doing a rigorous eyelid clean a couple of times a day (nightmare as DD is just 3yo). On returning to the optician, they confirmed that the blepharitis had gone but she still had the marks on her cornea, and to put 'artificial tears' in her eyes for a few months to solve the problem. We have done this since October, and have found out today that she still has the cornea scarring and the blepharitis is back.

The optician has now said to treat the blepharitis for the next week, and then he will check it again. If it is not gone by then, we will need to go to the eye hospital. They are apparently curious as to why she only has the blepharitis in one eye.

Does anyone have any experience of blepharitis in a young child, especially with an effected cornea? What was your experience and is it something to really worry about?

alypaly Sat 16-Jan-10 22:04:50

havent had the experience of it in a child, but my very frail elderly mother had it. We were told to use diluted johnsons baby shampoo actually on the eye lid. This helped alot over time and it prevented the dry scaly skin and infection on the eyelid. She was on regular doses of chlramphenicol eye ointment when the eyelid got swollen.

Karoleann Sat 16-Jan-10 22:58:28

Hi, I'm an optometrist. Its unlikely that your DD has scarring (scarring won't ever heal) ,its probably just some corneal erosion (loss of cell on the corneal epithelium)which is common with dryness on the cornea.
The Optometrist will have requested the referral in order to prescribe either system antibiotics usually oxytetracycline or topical antibiotics which are prescribed when the eye lid scrubs aren't working properly. I wouldn't worry there's little long term problems with blepharitis .
Interestingly recent studies have found that its less apparent in people who wash their hair daily!

alypaly Sat 16-Jan-10 23:12:07

Karoleann ,i suppose that goes hand in hand with using the johnsons baby shampoo as a cleaner on the eyelid . I guess its just like washing your hair and letting the shampoo run down your face.

Underoveramutha.... Blepharitis is just a general term used for inflammation of the eyelid which can be caused by cysts ,infections ,styes and is very common.
But if there is any pain in the eye go back to the doc asap.

moosemama Sat 16-Jan-10 23:35:38

Hi there

My ds2 was diagnosed with blepharitis and scarring at about the same age as your dd. (He is 5, nearly 6 now.) He also suffered from recurrent chalazion which were non responsive to antibiotics and got so large that he has scarring to both lids.

We tried the eye cleaning, cotton buds and baby shampoo or bicarb thing, but he hated it and got really upset making it increasingly difficult to do. The hospital just told us to try our best and prescribed the artificial tears, which he also hated.

Last year we were told he had strange indentations/pits on the sclera of the eye and they didn't know precisely what had caused it, but it wasn't improving and looked like it was permanent damage.

Then his consultant left and we saw a new consultant, who advised us to buy lid care wipes (which are not available on the nhs) as he had had other patients who had had good results with them and they are easier to use and more sterile than other cleaning methods. We couldn't afford them as you only get about 20 wipes and they are about 4.00 a box, so I did some research and found lid-care which is a different product, but does the same job. You can get them for 3.80 a box and there are 100 pads in the box.

We found that ds could then wipe his own eyelids and that took the stress out of getting him to do it as well as involving him in his treatment.

I also heard about eyebright/euphrasia tincture which we started giving him at roughly the same time. He has his drops in apple juice with his breakfast every day.

We have been carrying out this routine for just over a year now and having missed a couple of appointments at the hospital due to his illness and the arrival of a new baby, have just been back to see the consultant. Amazingly, not only has the pitting completely disappeared (the consultant said she couldn't believe it as there was no sign of it whatsoever) but he has not had a chalazion for over 12 months.

To be honest, I don't know if its coincidence or we were just lucky enough to hit on the right management/treatment regime for his problems by accident, but it has made a huge difference to him. He no longer needs artificial tears and we don't have to go through all the trauma of lid washing and eye drops every day.

Sorry, bit of a long rambling post, but thought it might be of some help, especially the lid wipes as they really did take the stress/distress out of the cleaning process.

alypaly Sat 16-Jan-10 23:59:19

moosemama the chalazion can cause an indentation of the eye and an alter the lens shape if untreated. I had one removed myself as it was altering my eyesight and it was sore too. It was not a pleasant experience, but it has never come back.

moosemama Sun 17-Jan-10 11:46:58

Thanks Aly. Fortunately he narrowly missed having to have one removed after it responded to a third course of mega abs. Its was such a pain, as if we went to the GP they would prescribe topical abs as a first port of call, despite us explaining he needed systemic. In the end the consultant had to send them a letter to lie on file at the surgery, even then I had to tell them to read it to stop them prescribing topicals. angry

It wasn't an indentation on the sclera though it was hundreds of tiny dimple like markings - had the hospital stumped. The only thing they managed to come up with was possible viral damage.

Undercovamutha Sun 17-Jan-10 18:20:19

Thanks so much for all the advice, and for spending so much time replying. Sorry I couldn't check the thread until now.

Karoleann - really puts my mind at rest to know its not a permanent thing re. the cornea. Fascinating about the hairwashing! We only do DDs hair about once a week blush as it is very long and thick and she hates having it done. Maybe we will have to be a bit more regular. Also, do you have any experience of the blepharitis just being in one eye?

Moosemama - so glad that your DS is so much better. Gives me hope! Will definitely look into the lid wipes. I have also had a flax eye mask recommended on another thread. The tincture also sounds good. Will keep all this in mind once we have seen the optician again next week. Looks like DD may also need glasses so its going to be a bit of an epic appt! She has been really good with the eye cleaning today so fingers crossed! BTW we have been using lacrilube in the evenings for the last few weeks, instead of the artificial tear drops, and DD is much better at having the lacrilube (eye gel).

alypaly Sun 17-Jan-10 23:59:14

blepharitis is common in one eye and /or two

moosemama Tue 19-Jan-10 14:32:37

Undercovamutha. Quick addendum.

Just got home from ds2's latest appointment with the eye consultant and optometrist. They confirmed that he is still clear of blepharitis and all the corneal damage has completely healed.

Just been and ordered 2 new pairs of glasses, much to ds's delight (he loves choosing new glasses and is always very proud of them).

Its horrible when it keeps flaring up in what feels like never ending cycles. Just thought you might like to know there is an end in sight and your dd will get there and be blepharitis free with nice healthy corneas. smile

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