Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that can cause mild discomfort, eye redness, and itching.
What causes blepharitis?
Blepharitis is often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria commonly found on the skin in and around the eyes. Other possible causes of blepharitis are allergies, bacterial infections, skin conditions (such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and eczema), or blocked oil glands in the eyelids.
Symptoms of blepharitis
The symptoms of blepharitis may vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:
- Itching and irritation
- Burning sensation
- Redness of the eye and eyelids
- Swelling of the eyelids
- Flaky or greasy eyelashes
- Discharge from the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
- Blurred vision
- Excessive tearing of the eyes
Tips to manage blepharitis
The primary treatment for blepharitis is to maintain good eyelid hygiene and manage any potential underlying causes. Some of the ways to manage blepharitis include:
- Clean eyelids with a scrub or cloth dipped in warm water
- Apply a warm compress to the eyelids for 5-10 minutes
- Gently massage the eyelids to loosen and remove crusts
- Avoid using eye makeup until symptoms are resolved
- Use artificial tears to lubricate the eyes
- Avoid contact lenses until symptoms are improved
- Avoid rubbing the eyes
- See an eye care professional, if needed
Health implications for blepharitis
Blepharitis, if left untreated, can cause a variety of health problems. These include:
- Dry eyes
- Loss of vision
- Corneal abrasions
- Corneal ulcers
- Scarring of the cornea
- Infections in the eye
It is important to seek medical care if you are experiencing persistent symptoms of blepharitis to rule out any possible underlying causes and to prevent any of the above health risks.