Have you had a red, painful bump on your eyelid, or a painless bump? The painful one could have been a stye (occurs when an eyelash follicle becomes infected) and the painless one a chalazion (when an oil gland in the eyelid is blocked. Or did you have trouble opening your eyes in the morning because of tangled eyelashes, it could have been blepharitis (Krimigranthi). All these are common eye conditions.

Blepharitis is a condition characterized by chronic (long-lasting) inflammation of the eyelids, usually in the area of the eyelashes. It usually happens in both eyes. Due to the inflammation, irritation, itching and red discoloration are associated symptoms.

As per modern ophthalmology, it may be classified as seborrheic, staphylococcal, mixed, posterior or meibomitis, or blepharitis of parasitic origin. Ayurveda science explains this condition as Krimigranthi.

This disease is a result of imbalance in Kapha and Pitta Dosha. It cannot be  cured  but  fortunately it  can be controlled. Generally the diseases start slowly affecting both the eyes and usually chronic with period of remission and relapse.

According to Sushrut, krimigranthi (Blepharitis) is a swelling in which organism get lodged in the junction of the eyelids and eyelashes to produce severe itching in those part. These different forms of organism move along the junction of eyelid and penetrate into shuklamandal (i.e. sclera / outer tunic of the eye, looks like a circle) and even into the inner structure of the eye.

Symptoms of Krimigranthi (Blepharitis):

  • Watering of the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes, worsening on exposure to sunlight
  • Irritation towards air/dust
  • Sensation of Grittiness in the eyes
  • Swelling in the eyelids
  • Sticking of the eyelids
  • Itching of the eye lids especially in the early mornings and late evenings
  • Flaking of the skin on eyelids
  • Frequent blinking or irritation
  • Loss of eyelashes after 7-8 days of manifestation

Long persisting untreated Blepharitis can lead to eyelid scarring. Blurring may be found in chronic suffering of this complaint. But it is momentary and will not persist for long.

Symptoms as mentioned in Susruta Samhita Uttaratantra:  

  • Kandukuryuh (Itching)                                                                   
  • Sandhijakrimiyah (eyelid swelling and foreign body sensation)
  • Vartmashuklyasyasandahau (plugging of Meibomian)
  • Nnarupa (Erythema)
  • Charanteantarnyamdushyanti (redness of eyelid and eye)

Preventive measures:

  • Maintaining hygiene of the eyelids
  • Eyewash (Pariseka) 4-5times with Triphala decoction

Line of Treatment:

  • As this disease is a result of Kapha and Pitta, dosha nirharana chikita (treatment with balances the doshas) should be administered.
  • Raktaprasadana (blood cleansing) and Krimihara (Ani-Bacterial) treatment or therapies are recommended.

Ayurvedic Formulations for Blepharitis
(Consult your Ayurvedic physician before consuming any medicines)

  • Sarivadyasavam
  • Phalatrikadi Kashayam
  • Triphala Guggulu
  • Amritadi Guggulu

Local Applications:

  • Elaneer Kuzumbu
  • Nagarjuna Varti
  • Manashiladi Vati
  • ITone Eye drops

Useful tips:

  • Wet a clean cotton cloth in warm water, then place it over your closed eyelids for 5 minutes. Rewet as necessary to keep it warm. This will help soften the crusts and loosen oily debris.
  • Gently massage over the outer eyelids it helps to soothe the eyelids.
  • Warm compress also loosens the accumulated crust on the eyelids and eyelashes.
  • It also helps loosen any blocked residue accumulated in the oil-secreting meibomian glands.
  • Keep your eyelids always clean.
  • Wash your eyes twice or thrice a day.
  • Clean all the eye makeup before bedtime.
  • Sleep early and avoid waking up until late night.
  • Take amla juice and vitamin C rich diet to increase immunity to fight infections.

A stye usually ruptures and resolves within a few days, whereas chalazia may persist for several weeks or months. For stye, mild fomentation is given to the affected eyelash for early drainage of pus and a quick resolution of the wound. For chalazia too, mild local fomentation and medicated eye drops are given.