I suffer with Blepharitis which is an external eye issue. Is this a “just me” thing and unrelated to MS, or do others get it?

The eyelids have oil ducts which can get clogged up and crusty, leaving the eyes dry, itch and prone to infection. It is also known as MGD (Meibomian gland dysfunction) and is a nuisance more than anything. It causes blurring and foggy vision, though when properly washed / cleaned, I can see fine. It’s very disconcerting to someone relatively new to MS and who has heard all about potential vision problems connected with the disease.

My own theory is that I’m susceptible because of my poor sleep patterns, due either to back pain or a weak bladder, meaning that I’m missing out on REM sleep.

Sorry but I haven’t a clue about your eyes, but it might be worth having a word with someone about self catheterisation. I had years of dodgy sleep and did the catheter thing for a couple of years and now I’m fitted with a Supapubic catheter [which is a nightmare for me] but does help a lot of people.

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Well it is apparently usually caused by little mites (the demodex mite), so much more connected with how many hotel pillows you (or your partner) have slept on rather than whether you have MS. Most people have acquired them by old age!

I use a heat pad to help melt the oil in the oil glands and get them unclogged. I actually need to buy a new one as the one I’ve been using for a few years seems to have lost most of its contents so doesn’t keep as warm for as long.

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Thank you for your replies. I think you may be right Ziola - I recall my cousin-in-law, a retired optician, saying it was similar to dandruff and that by using Head n Shoulders or similar, and letting it run down to the eye lids (but not the eyes…), that would help. I also use a product called Blephasol (Blephasol Sensitive Eyelids Lotion - 100ml - Boots) which is great for cleaning & unclogging but does dry the eyes. I also find a heat mask very effective: The Eye Doctor Click & GO. An exothermic reaction heats the pack to just over 40C which is what is required to melt the clogged oil and allow the eyes to be relubricated.

I get blocked oil ducts and wear contact lenses.
My optician suggested using some baby shampoo in cooled boiled water and using a cotton bud wipe the oil ducts - bit of the eye between the eye and the eyelashes.
Never associated it with MS though.


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Yes, Jen, the very same thing. Baby shampoo contains some of the same stuff as Head n Shoulders because cradle cap is similar to dandruff. Worth reading up on Blepharitis and MGD.

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