Blepharitis is a common condition where the edges of the eyelids become red and swollen. In most cases both eyes are affected, but one eye can be more affected than the other. The symptoms tend to be worse in the morning.
Blepharitis isn’t contagious.
Blepharitis can develop at any age, and symptoms can include:
- itchy, sore and red eyelids that stick together
- crusty or greasy eyelashes
- a burning, gritty sensation in your eyes
- swollen eyelid margins
- abnormal eyelash growth or loss of eyelashes in severe cases
Blepharitis can’t usually be cured, but a daily eyelid-cleaning routine can help control the symptoms and prevent permanent scarring of the eyelid margins. If your blepharitis isn’t being managed through simple hygiene measures, you should visit your optometrist.
They can examine you to check if the problem is caused by an underlying condition, or may refer you to an eye specialist.
Blepharitis is usually a long-term condition. Most people experience repeated episodes, separated by periods without symptoms.
What Causes Blepharitis?
There are two main types of blepharitis:
Anterior blepharitis: inflammation of the skin around the base of your eyelashes
Posterior blepharitis: inflammation of the Meibomian glands
Anterior blepharitis can be caused by either a reaction to Staphylococcus bacteria or seborrhoeic dermatitis – a skin condition that causes skin to become oily or flaky and sometimes irritate the eyelids.
Posterior blepharitis is caused by a problem with the Meibomian glands, where the glands get blocked by either debris, skin flakes or inflammation. Sometimes blockages in the Meibomian glands are associated with a skin condition called rosacea. If too much oily substance is being produced, this may be caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis.
If you’re suffering from blepharitis and are in need of an eye care solution, get in touch today.