A patient walked into the clinic today with swollen eye lid on both sides. Not presenting with pain but with itchiness and redness on the lesion. This patient had a history of allergy and hypertension and a chronic history of constipation.What could it be?
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we can use medical diagnosis to help us in terms of treatment plan.
Unlike Stye, blepharitis is an inflammatory of the eye lid which may or may not involve with infection. Blepharitis can involve with the eyelid skin , eye lashes and surrounded gland.
Treatment options for blepharitis include antibiotics , oral and topical corticosteroids. All these options should be , according Current medical diagnosis and treatment , should to restricted to short-term. However, clinically blepahritis can be a chronic condition that cause discomfort and inconvenience in patients’s lives.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we should always ask ourselves: what can we provide for our patients and community ? What are their choices outside of medication that are also effective and safe?
Blepharitis was documented in ancient ophthalmology [Yin Hai Jin Wei], describing this condition was “wind-attack with underlying heat toxin on the stomach channel which manifested on the channel as rotten flesh.”
In TCM,eye and the surrounding tissue are on the pathway of Urinary channel ,stomach channel and large intestine channel, all of which are yang channels. Wind is the number one pathogens of all that attack easily on Yang Channels. With underlying heat and dampness on these Yang channels, heat and dampness can accumulated into toxins that lead to depleted Qi on the pathway. Depleted Qi leads to weakness and like a door can’t be shut tight , wind pathogen can easily attack these channel and cause illness.
Blepharitis is usually a condition with wind, heat toxin and dampness.
In the treatment of TCM, we can use releasing method to clear the wind, clear heat and drain dampness.
Points to be used: we can choose St 44 , St45 , LI 1, LI2, or bleeding on UB2 to releasing the heat.
Formula of choice: Ge Gen Tang modified with Shi Gao . If blepahritis occurs repeatedly, we need to consider blood stasis as part of the pathogen. In this case . we can modify Ge Gen Tang with Chuan Xiong, Da Huang (if a patient also suffers constipation).
Blepharitis is a condition that cause discomfort patients that can also be hepled by tradtional Chinese medicine. This would surely bring an alternative to paitent for their choice of health care.