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October 23, 2022 3 min read

Blepharitis is an eye disease typically caused by a bacterial infection or a skin condition like dandruff or rosacea. Although uncomfortable, it is not contagious and will not impact the patient's vision. 

The two types of blepharitis are anterior and posterior. The former affects the outer front edge of the eyelids where the eyelashes are. Conversely, posterior blepharitis occurs around the inner edge of the eyelid connected to the eye. Staphylococcal blepharitis and seborrheic blepharitis are types of anterior blepharitis, while ulcerative blepharitis and meibomian blepharitis are types of posterior blepharitis.

This article discusses the symptoms, causes, and typical treatments for blepharitis. Keep reading and learn more. 

What Are the Symptoms of Blepharitis?

Staphylococcal blepharitis is a condition where the eyelids are inflamed and the eyelashes are either lost or askew. Patients often have mild stickiness of the eyelids and thicker lid margins. On the other hand, seborrheic blepharitis is a condition in which patients have oily, scaly flakes around their eyelashes and may also have red or pink eyelids.

Ulcerative blepharitis is when patients have matted, brittle crusts around the eyelashes. These crusts can cause tiny sores that ooze and bleed; in some cases, patients may lose eyelashes. In severe cases, ulcerative blepharitis can lead to inflammation of the cornea.

Patients with meibomian blepharitis develop a blockage in the oil glands of their eyelids. This can lead to unsatisfactory tear quality and redness on the lining of the eyelids.

What Causes Blepharitis?

Blepharitis can affect people of all ages. It is often associated with other conditions, such as dry skin, acne, diabetes, or poor hygiene. The exact cause of blepharitis is unknown but believed to be a combination of factors.

  • Anterior blepharitis is caused by bacteria or dandruff from the eyebrows or scalp. Excessive amounts of bacteria on the eyelids can cause an infection. In some cases, blepharitis may also be caused by allergies or mites.
  • Posterior blepharitis is caused by an irregular production of oil in the eyelids. This can result from skin conditions like rosacea or dandruff of the scalp.

How Is Blepharitis Treated?

Most cases of blepharitis can be treated at home with simple self-care measures. These include:

  • Washing your eyelids with a mild cleanser and warm water
  • Using a clean washcloth or cotton swab to remove any crusting from your eyelashes
  • Applying warm compress to your eyelids for 5-10 minutes several times a day
  • Avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes

If your blepharitis is caused by an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the affected eyelashes.

Conclusion

Blepharitis is a common eye condition that can be caused by a number of different factors. The most important thing to know about blepharitis is that it is a chronic condition, which means that it can recur even after it has been treated. 

Blepharitis can cause several symptoms, including redness, itching, and burning of the eyes, as well as crusting and flaking of the eyelids. If left untreated, blepharitis can lead to more serious problems like vision loss. Blepharitis treatment typically involves cleaning the eyelids and using artificial tears to lubricate the eyes.

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