August 28, 2013

Blepharitis is an eyelid inflammation; it can cause red, irritated, itchy eyelids which may or may not exhibit dandruff-like scaling on the eyelashes. It can be annoying or uncomfortable, but generally does not cause any permanent damage to eyesight. There are two main types of blepharitis: anterior blepharitis (occurring at the outer edge of the lid where eyelashes connect) and posterior blepharitis (occurring at the inner edge of the lid which comes into contact with the eyeball).

Symptoms of Blepharitis

  • Gritty/burning sensation in the eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchiness of the lids
  • Redness/swelling of the lids
  • Dry eyes
  • Crusting of the eyelids
  • Blurring vision 

What causes blepharitis?

The cause of blepharitis can vary from bacteria or general dandruff to an influx of oil gland production or even mites!

How is blepharitis treated?

In many cases, a regular cleaning routine can reduce or even resolve symptoms. Good lid hygiene is important; this may include warm compresses, face washing, cleaning the eyelids, and avoiding overuse/sleeping in makeup and contact lenses. If the cause of blepharitis is bacterial in nature, topical treatments may be added to alleviate symptoms.

A tip for warm compresses: fill a coffee mug with water that is as hot as you can tolerate. Bring a clean washcloth and the mug with you and sit down and relax. Dip the washcloth into the hot water in the mug, then hold across closed eyes; rewet washcloth in the mug to reheat as needed. This allows for a reduced need to get up and reheat the washcloth!