The Eyes Have It: Blepharitis and Fibromyalgia

The Eyes Have It: Blepharitis and Fibromyalgia
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Blepharitis. It’s a scary word, right?

I recently went to my ophthalmologist because my eyes were sore and eye drops weren’t helping. Apparently, it should take 10 seconds for your tears to evaporate. It took 7 seconds for my right eye and 5 seconds for my left. My left eye gives me the most trouble, so that made sense to me.

My doctor diagnosed me with blepharitis. Symptoms of blepharitis include itchiness, redness, flakiness, eyelid “crusties,” a burning sensation, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Blepharitis is common for people with dry eyes, and dry eyes are common for people with fibromyalgia. It’s even more common for women with fibromyalgia who are 60 and older, and it can be a chronic condition.

To treat blepharitis, I apply a warm washcloth to my eyelids for five minutes, twice a day. Then, I wash my eyelids with tear-free baby shampoo and spray them with a HypoChlor solution. I use prednisone eye drops and a specific lubricating eye drop four times a day. Oh, and then I have a gel to put in my eyes at bedtime. That’s a lot of eye stuff!

It’s been almost a week now, and I’m not seeing the results I had hoped for. My eyes are better, but they’re still sore. I’m hoping that one more week will result in less dryness and irritation.

There’s a definite connection between blepharitis and dry eye.

“[P]atient symptoms and complaints about blepharitis are often consistent with a diagnosis of dry eye disease, and many hypothesize that the majority of dry eye patients have underlying meibomian gland dysfunction,” optometrist Kelly Nichols noted. “Because blepharitis overlaps with the signs and symptoms of evaporative dry eye, it is often underdiagnosed and misdiagnosed.”

I’ve had dry eyes for years now, but blepharitis is new to me. I’m glad my ophthalmologist was able to diagnose it. Eyes are nothing to mess with. We need to keep them as healthy as we can. It amazes me that fibromyalgia can cause so many things in our bodies to go haywire.

If you have sore, painful, itchy eyes, I would encourage you to see an ophthalmologist. If you have dry eyes, what have you found that brings you the most relief? Please share in the comments below. 

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Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

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4 comments

  1. Nancy Harkness says:

    Hi, I have blepharitis as well though despite treating it
    as you describe it really doesn’t deplete my eye pain. I am certain that fibromyalgia, Lyme or CFS and nerves are playing a role and I hope someone figures out how to fix it!

    • Robin Dix says:

      Nancy, I agree with you. I also have Lyme and CFS along with fibro. My eyes have improved somewhat, but I’m wondering what will happen when I stop her treatment protocol.

  2. Stephen Golder says:

    Astounding. I thought I knew all my crummy additional little disorders associated with fibro but this also…jeez. The two opthals. I’ve seen each reco’d a wash every AM with a few drops of J and J Baby shampoo over your eyebrows and face in warm water. I seems to keep bleh in remission.

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