Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelids, causing red, irritated, and itchy eyes, usually affecting both eyes along the edges of the eyelids. It mainly happens when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes get clogged, inducing inflammation and redness.
It is a chronic condition, sometimes uncomfortable and unsightly, caused by many diseases, which are difficult to treat. However, it’s not contagious and will not cause permanent harm to your eyesight.
Understand the symptoms
Blepharitis condition gets worse in the morning with signs like watery, red, itchy eyes, eyelids that appear greasy, a gritty, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes and red, swollen eyelids. The other signs people can experience are flaking the skin around the eyes, eyelid sticking, crusted eyelashes, more frequent blinking, sensitivity to light and blurred vision that usually improves with blinking.
Consult the doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor when your blepharitis does not become better despite following good hygiene practices, regular cleaning and taking proper care of the affected area.
Know the causes
Even when the exact cause of blepharitis is unknown, it spreads from one person to another. It is generally associated with one or more of the following conditions:
- Dry eyes
- Eyelash mites or lice
- Seborrheic dermatitis is dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
- Rosacea, which is the facial redness of the skin
- Clogged or abnormal functioning of oil glands in the eyelids
- Allergies, including allergic effects to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup.
People with blepharitis may also have:
- Eyelash problems - causing eyelashes to fall out, develop abnormally (misdirected eyelashes) or lose color.
- Eyelid skin problems - causing scarring on the eyelids, or the eyelid edges may turn inward or outward.
- Excess tearing or dry eyes - when there are abnormal oily discharges and other debris shed from the eyelids like flaking due to dandruff; it builds up tear film — the water, oil and mucus solution that forms tears. This tear
- film condition prevents you from keeping the eyelids moist and irritating the eyes, causing dry eyes or excess tearing symptoms.
- Sty infection occurs near the base of the eyelashes, resulting in a painful lump visible on the edge of the eyelid.
- A chalazion occurs due to a blockage in the small oil glands at the eyelid margin, right behind the eyelashes, causing inflammation of the gland that makes the eyelid swell and redden. It may clear up or turn into a
- complex, non-tender bump.
- Chronic pink eye may occur due to repeated occurrences of pink eye (conjunctivitis).
- Injury to the cornea occurs due to constant irritation from inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes that develop a sore. Reduction of tears could increase the risk of a corneal infection.
Measures for prevention
Some changes in lifestyle and habits can help prevent the occurrence of blepharitis. These include cleaning the eyelids, removing makeup before bed, avoiding using eyeliner on the eyelids. Do not use cosmetics when being treated for blepharitis, preventing eyes from further irritation.