How contagious is eyelid inflammation?
In principle, there is not much risk of infection from eyelid inflammation. If the eyelid inflammation is caused by bacteria, it belongs to the contagious disease patterns, but its risk of infection is rather low in contrast to conjunctivitis. If only one eyelid is inflamed, you should take hygienic measures to ensure that the second eye is not also infected.
If you rub your eyes with your fingers, the bacteria can spread and thus transmit the infection. The term “barleycorn” covers various causes of eyelid inflammation. A distinction is made between an outer barleycorn (Hordeolum externum) and an inner one (Hordeolum internum).
In the former, either the minor glands are inflamed, which are sweat glands on the eyelid, or the Zeis glands, which are sebaceous glands. An inner barley grain is an inflammation of the meibomian glands, also sebaceous glands, which are located on the edge of the eyelid. In most cases a barleycorn is caused by a bacteria (mostly staphylococci, occasionally streptococci).
It is a relatively harmless disease, as no serious health problems are to be expected. However, a frequent recurrence of a barley grain can indicate a general weakness of the body’s own defence system (e.g. diabetes, diabetes). A further cause of eyelid inflammation is lacrimal sac inflammation.
The so-called dacryocystitis is usually caused by a disruption in the drainage of tear fluid, which leads to an excessive proliferation of bacteria inside the lachrymal sac. The situation is similar with inflammation of the lacrimal gland. The use of cosmetics in the eye area may promote the development of eyelid inflammation.
Especially if repeated inflammations occur, cosmetics should not be used in the eye area or their tolerance should be tested. The wearing of contact lenses should also be considered a risk factor for the development of eyelid inflammation. Contact lenses can bring bacteria and fungi into the eye area and also form a humid chamber, which is a perfect breeding ground for the pathogens.
After wearing contact lenses, they should always be thoroughly cleaned with a solution. They should also not be worn for longer than intended, as the risk of bacterial contamination increases with excessive use. As a matter of principle, the eyes should be protected from particular strain in order to effectively prevent inflammation of the eyelid.
Draught, dry air, dust, smoke, strong sunlight, cold, heat or too little light weaken the eye and pathogens can penetrate more easily. The duration of an eyelid inflammation depends on the severity of the disease. It can be acute or chronic.
The chronic inflammation is most often observed in people with excessive secretion production. An acute eyelid inflammation should heal within a few weeks. The chronic form, on the other hand, can usually only be alleviated by consistent and daily eyelid margin hygiene so that it occurs less frequently.
As a rule, the prognosis for eyelid inflammation is good. However, in some cases the course of the disease can be persistent. Particularly in people who have an excessive sebum production, eyelid inflammation can often only be permanently cured by very consistent eyelid hygiene.
Severe progression or serious complications of the disease are rare, but a harmless eyelid inflammation can develop into a pus abscess or deeper skin lesions in the course of the disease. If left untreated, this can lead to permanent malpositioning of the eyelid, as scar tissue is formed which distorts the edge of the eyelid outwards or inwards.