Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids, or the margins of the eyelids. Blepharitis is frequently recurrent, and can affect the outer or the inner eyelid.
If located at the anterior side of the eyelid, bacteria nestled between the eyelashes, or dandruff of the scalp, are the cause of the characteristic inflammation. If located on the posterior side, at the inner side of the eyelid, the side which is in direct contact with the eyeball, issues of the Meibomian glands (sebaceous glands at the margin of the eyelids responsible for providing the oily humorous liquid keeping the eyes lubricated) are responsible for its formation. This form of blepharitis is caused by other conditions, namely acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis (scalp dandruff).
Characteristic symptoms of blepharitis are irritation, redness, itching and burning of the eyelid and eye, crust formation and agglutination, and the sensation of sand grains in the eye.
Homeopathy has a vast range of remedies available for the treatment of blepharitis. The appropriate prescription should be selected depending on the specific case symptomatology presented. Some major remedies for blepharitis are listed below.
Alumina: There is redness and thickening of the eyelids. At the angles of the eye there is much itching. Characteristic are dryness and redness. The lids easily become agglutinated, and eyelashes may fall out.
Antimonium crudum: Eyes are sunken in their sockets. Lids are swollen and covered in pustules. There is redness, soreness and itching of the inflamed lids. The corners of the eyes are raw and fissured, and there may be oozing. Overnight the lids can become agglutinated. This remedy is particularly indicated in chronic blepharitis.
Argentum metallicum: Swollen and reddened eyelids; itching principally at the angles.
Argentum nitricum: Swollen, sore and blood-red at the inner corners; chronically ulcerative at the lid margins, with the formation of thick crusts. Lids get agglutinated with the secretion of yellowish greenish mucus.
Apis: Eyelids are swollen, edematous, red and everted. There is burning, stinging and itching. The upper lids hang over like sacks. Agglutination is possible.
Clematis: Chronic blepharitis with soreness and swollen Meibomian glands. There is ulceration with biting and smarting in the margins of the lids; stitching and itching in the angles of the eyelids.
Euphrasia: Characteristic are redness, aching, gnawing on the margins of the eyelids. There is copious lachrymation and swelling, particular of lower eyelid. Ulceration on the lids is common, as is agglutination of eyelids. Smarting and the feeling of a grain of sand on the eyelid.
Graphites: Lids are heavy and hang down. There is an aching, sandy feeling. Lachrymation occurs. There is dry eczema on the lids and in the lashes with swelling and redness, and the formation of dry agglutination in the eyelashes, particularly in the morning.
Hepar sulfuris: Thick red margins of the lids with small erysipelatous pustules in the lashes. There is bruised pain from ulceration and nocturnal lachrymation and agglutination.
Lycopodium: Ulceration and redness of eyelids, with twitching, gnawing, burning and shooting pain are characteristic for this type of blepharitis. The lids are dry and there is swelling. There is nocturnal agglutination and lachrymation.
Medorrhinum: The lids are irritated at the edges, aching, and hardness is perceived on the upper lid. There is redness and dryness.
Mercurius: Lids are thickened and red. There is profuse, burning and acrid discharge, particularly in the evening. The lids may twitch, and are ulcerated at the margins and covered in scabs. There may be agglutination during the night.
Natrium muriaticum: Agglutination of red and ulcerated eyelids. There is much lachrymation and a sensation of grains of sand in the eyelids.
Petroleum: Marginal blepharitis with itching, jerking and quivering of everted lids is characteristic of this remedy. The edges are fissures. The skin is dry and scurfy. The patient rubs the eyes.
Pulsatilla: Mainly on the margins of the eyelids. Dryness and feeling of sand in the eye are common. There is also burning, swelling and redness, and agglutination during the night.
Psorinum: This remedy is indicated for recurrent blepharitis, where there is a sandy feeling, agglutination and swelling. There is also lachrymation. The lower lid itches at the inner corners. Pimples, like sty, may be present on the margins of the upper lid.
Rhus toxicodendron: The lids show edematous swelling with redness and pustules. Lids feel heavy. There is smarting, jerking, quivering and nocturnal agglutination.
Staphisagria: The margins of the eyelids itch and ache. There is smarting, burning and biting at the inner angle of the eye. There is dryness and the formation of little nodes.
Sulphur: Characteristic for this remedy are the sense of friction (sand grain), burning, and tickling, itching. There is a bruised, wounded feeling and quivering of the lids. Secretion may be profuse. Lids are ulcerated, and are heavily hanging down.
Tellurium: Lids are thickly swollen, edematous, and scrofulous. There is lachrymation, and a feeling of pressure. Ulcerative pustules are itching and oozing. Touch is painful.
- Boericke, W. (2004) Pocket manual of homeopathic materia medica and repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- Boger, C. (2008) Boger Boennighausen’s Characteristics & Repertory New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- Boyd, K. (2017) What Is Blepharitis?, Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-blepharitis(Accessed: 09 March 2017).
- Clarke, J. (1994) A Dictionary of practical materia medica New Delhi: B.Jain publishers Ltd.
- National Eye Institute (2009) Facts About Blepharitis, Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/blepharitis/blepharitis(Accessed: 09 March 2017).