When your eyes get crusty, uncomfortable, or irritating, it can ruin your whole day. You end up spending more time wiping your eyes — and thinking about it — than doing what you need to.

Blepharitis, a common, irritating eye condition, causes inflammation of the eyelids. It’s a typical disorder we treat at Integrative Vision in Shrewsbury, NJ. We think a little outside the box here by offering holistic solutions from our expert functional medicine optometrist, Dr. Gioia.

Today, we touch on causes and symptoms of blepharitis, treatment options, and ways to manage the false lashes you love. 

Yes, we know this popular trend gets a bad wrap from eye doctors. But we want you to know how to take care of your eye health and our top picks for products to use.


Close up photo of eye

2 Types of Blepharitis: Causes & Symptoms

Usually, blepharitis affects both eyes, and symptoms range from person to person. It’s crucial to have an eye exam to make sure it’s properly treated to get you on the road to healing. Blepharitis can be broken down into two different types.

1. Anterior (front) Blepharitis

Arises in the front edge of your eyelids, where your eyelashes attach. It’s commonly caused by bacteria, or dandruff on the scalp and eyebrows. Be sure to keep reading about mite infestation (eek!) in the eyelashes as another cause of anterior blepharitis.

2. Posterior (back) Blepharitis

Occurs when your eyelid glands (meibomian) don’t properly produce the balance of oil for your eyes. Too much oil creates a better environment for bacterial growth, and poor oil quality causes dandruff and dryness. Skin conditions like rosacea can lead to posterior blepharitis too.

Both forms have similar risk factors and symptoms:

Risk Factors:

  • Allergies
  • Oily skin
  • Dandruff
  • Rosacea


  • Crusty eyelids or eyelashes
  • Dry eyes
  • Red or swollen eye/lids
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eyelashes falling out
  • Foamy tears

When you suffer from blepharitis, it truly interrupts your life. It’s hard to go about your day at work or watching your child’s soccer game when your eyesight is blurry or your eyelids are irritating you. Let’s dive into treatments to get you relief and back to enjoying your day-to-day life.


Washing hand with water

Main Treatments For Blepharitis To Make You Comfortable

The main treatment for your eyelids relies on hygiene. Both forms of blepharitis involve bacteria, so increasing your lid hygiene can help limit bacterial growth — and keep symptoms at bay.

Lid hygiene involves a daily routine of washing your eyelids. Yup, every day. (Just like your face, right? You can do this.) Mayo Clinic recommends this regimen:

  • Apply a warm compress over your closed eye for a few minutes to loosen crusty deposits on your eyelids.
  • Gently massage the eyelids using some pressure. Use a clean washcloth or finger.
  • Immediately use a clean washcloth (or cotton-tipped applicator) moistened with warm water and a few drops of diluted baby shampoo (or an over-the-counter eyelid cleanser which is preferred!) to wash away oily debris or scales at the base of your eyelashes. Use a different clean cloth for each eye.
  • In some cases, you might need to be more deliberate about cleaning the edge of your eyelids at your eyelashes. To do this, gently pull your eyelid away from your eye and use the washcloth to gently rub the base of the lashes. This helps avoid damaging your cornea with the washcloth.
  • Ask your doctor whether you should use a topical antibiotic ointment after cleaning your eyelids in this way.
  • Rinse your eyelids with warm water, and gently pat them dry with a clean, dry towel.

We know this seems like a lot, but try to remember it’s keeping your eyes healthy. Add it into your routine like brushing your teeth or washing your face. Small steps will continue to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.

Other treatments for blepharitis can include medicated eye drops, heat masks, or treating underlying immune conditions.

Since blepharitis doesn’t go away on its own, it requires ongoing management. You want an eye doctor you can trust.

When you have a comprehensive eye exam with Integrative Vision, you get more than standard options. We provide our patients with cutting-edge solutions from the eyecare world, nutritional insight from holistic care, and a fresh take on eye health education.

Woman having fake eyelashes put on

Let’s get into how to keep your favorite beauty routine healthy for your eyes.


Caring For Your Eye Health While Wearing False Eyelashes

You won’t hear us tell you to stay away from your false eyelashes. It’s true, most eye doctors recommend not wearing them altogether. But for those of you who love how it makes you feel — let’s talk about how to keep up your eye health!

Not to scare you, but to inform you — when wearing false lashes you’re at a higher risk of developing excess Demodex, aka face mites. No easy way to say it, because the thought alone…unsettling. But the ugly truth is we all have some trace amount of Demodex on our skin.

But plugging your oil glands on your eyelids while wearing false lashes (from the glue or adhesive)  increases your chances of face mites. When they get out of control on your eyes, they can even make your natural eyelashes fall out or cause decreased vision. (Yikes!)

Keep up a healthy eyelash regimen to maintain your eye health — plus enjoy expressing yourself (as you want!) with your lashes.

We know the importance of keeping your lid margin clean to prevent extra bacterial growth. It’s even more crucial if you’re wearing lashes because the risk of your oil glands getting plugged rises. Since Dr. Gioia holds her functional medicine certificate, she understands natural eye care solutions and treatments.

We proudly support two amazing companies to provide our patients with the best eye care products.

1. We Love Eyes, by Dr. Gill (Founder & CEO). She’s an optometrist with a mission to promote healthy eye products without all the harsh ingredients.

Lashes are an investment — and we care about your eyesight and health too. At Integrative Vision, we proudly offer these amazing products to our patients. If you’re a bold lash-wearer, these products aim to maintain your eye health and let you enjoy wearing those lashes you love!

2. Bruder, a company using science-based technology to produce the most natural eye care solutions available.

We adore Bruder’s approach, and carry their eye masks, sprays, and wipes in our office for your convenience and immediate relief.

You don’t have to sacrifice something you love. You can take care of your eye health and enjoy false lashes too.


Check Out Options From Your Local Shrewsbury Eye Doctor!

You’re minutes away from relief, natural eyecare solutions, and a nutritional approach to eye health. If you’re suffering from blepharitis in Tinton Falls or Monmouth Beach, you’ve got a great eye doctor close by.

Whether you’re looking for standard treatments or better ways to care for your eye health when wearing false lashes, we cater to your needs at Integrative Vision. When you choose a doctor you trust, you’ll always be given the best solutions that work for you.