Eyelid irritation can have many causes and is involved in many other ocular conditions. External irritation can be due to blepharitis, contact dermatitis, or styes, but sometimes the inside of the eyelid can be irritated too. The inside of the eyelid is covered by the conjunctiva, and when this is irritated by something, the resulting inflammation is known as conjunctivitis.
This can be associated with an allergic response, or a response to a foreign body such as a contact lens, more commonly associated with soft lenses than gas permeable lenses.
Symptoms can include itching, irritation and mucus discharge, and if you are a contact lens wearer, you may experience reduced comfort and excessive lens movement, along with visual blur. Usually both eyes are affected.
If the condition is due to foreign body response such as contact lens wear, then your optician will explore alternative lens designs and materials for you, and you should ensure your cleaning regime is up to date and effective. A change in your contact lens solution or your lens replacement frequency may be the answer, and your optician can advise you on this.
If the problem is allergy based, then finding and avoiding the allergen which triggers the allergic response is an obvious starting point, and possibly the use of anti-histamines or mast cell stabilisers may be necessary. Always consult your optometrist for further advice.
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