Blepharitis is a chronic condition that is characterised by inflammation of the eyelids, leading to discomfort and unattractive eyes. It is a very common eye problem and is not limited to any particular age group. Bhepharitis is not contagious and does not affect the vision of the affected person.
The common symptoms of blepharitis are red, watery eyes, burning or itching sensation, and red, swollen and greasy eyelids. Other symptoms include the dandruff-like flakes around the eyes, and crusty eyelids with sticking of eyelids on awakening. Eyes may also be sensitive to light and patients may blink frequently.
The exact cause for blepharitis is not known, but there are several factors that may lead to its development. Such common factors include:
Diagnosis of blepharitis involves the review of medical history and physical examination of the eyes. Physical examination may include complete evaluation of the eyelids and their margins, functioning of oil glands, base of eyelashes, quantity and quality of tear production as well as surface of eyeball. In some cases, your doctor may take a swab of the discharge from your eyelid or skin around your eyes to check for an allergy, or bacterial or fungal infection.
Complications that may be associated with blepharitis are:
The treatment of blepharitis includes regular washing and cleaning of the affected area with warm water, along with the use of medicated (antibiotics/steroid) eye drops or ointments. In addition, your doctor may prescribe artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.
Treatment also involves addressing underlying conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and bacterial infections, with medications or antibiotic therapy.
The best measure to prevent complications and relapse of blepharitis is to maintain good eyelid hygiene and routine cleaning of the eyes.