Blepharitis – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is an eye condition characterized by inflammation, irritation, scaling, and reddening of eyelids. This condition most often involves eyelids, where the eyelashes grow. It commonly occurs when tiny oil glands of the inner eyelid become inflamed and clogged.
What causes blepharitis?
The exact cause of blepharitis is not known to doctors. Doctors think it is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria or a decrease or interruption of the oils produced by the eyelid.
Blepharitis is more commonly seen in people with the following conditions:
- Seborrheic skin condition. This condition involves the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, skin behind the ears, and the creases of the nose.
- Excessive growth of the bacteria that are normally found on the skin.
- Rosacea, which causes a red rash on the face.
- Allergies that affect the eyelashes (rare).
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
A person affected with blepharitis may feel like having sand or dust in the eye when he/she blinks. Sometimes, the eyelashes may fall out. The eyelids may become scarred if the condition continues for a long period of time.
The following are the common symptoms:
- Red, irritated eyelids.
- Scales that stick to the base of the eyelashes.
- Sensation or feeling of burning in the eyelids.
- Swelling, crusting, and itching of the eyelids.
How is blepharitis diagnosed?
A doctor can diagnose blepharitis by looking at the eyelids during an eye exam. The doctor may take special photos of the glands that produce oil for the eyelids to see if they are abnormal.
How is blepharitis treated?
Your doctor may recommend using baby shampoo or special cleansers to clean the edges of the eyelid every day. This will help remove excess bacteria and oil. Your eye doctor may also recommend oral antibiotic or an antibiotic ointment in the eyelid to help alleviate the problem.
Taking fish oil supplements may also help with the problem.
Applying warm compresses may also provide relief. Apply warm compresses to your eyes for 5 minutes, 2-3 times per day. After this, gently rub a solution of warm water and no-tears baby shampoo along your eyelid, where the lash meets the lid, using a cotton swab.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.