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Blepharitis

Blepharitis is the persistent inflammation of the eyelids, resulting from bacteria that reside on the skin. Blepharitis is a common condition which can usually be managed with a simple cleansing routine.

What Are Symptoms of Blepharitis?

  • A burning sensation
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red and swollen eyelids
  • Eye redness
  • Blurred vision or frothy tears
  • Dry eye
  • Crusting of the eyelashes on awakening

Are There Any Complications Associated With Blepharitis?

Stye: A stye is a red, tender bump on the eyelid that is caused by an acute infection of the oil glands of the eyelid.

Chalazion: A chalazion is a condition that can follow the development of a stye. It is a usually painless firm lump caused by inflammation of the oil glands of the eyelid. Chalazion can be painful and red if an infection develops.

What Causes Blepharitis?

  • Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid, where the eyelashes are attached. The two most common causes of this type of blepharitis are bacteria and scalp dandruff.
  • Posterior blepharitis affects the inner eyelid (the moist part that makes contact with the eye) and is caused by problems with the oil glands in the eyelid. Two skin disorders can cause this form of blepharitis: acne rosacea (which leads to red and inflamed skin) and scalp dandruff.

How is Blepharitis Treated?

Treatment for both forms of blepharitis involves keeping the lids clean and free of debris. A gentle cleanser, such as baby shampoo, may be recommended by your doctor. Patients with posterior blepharitis will need to massage their eyelids to clean the oil accumulated in the glands. Most patients must maintain their eyelid hygiene routine for life because blepharitis rarely goes away completely. When scalp dandruff is present, a dandruff shampoo for the hair is recommended as well. If the blepharitis is severe, your ophthalmologist may also prescribe antibiotics or steroid eye drops and if necessary may recommend minor eyelid surgery for the treatment of chalazions.

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