Blepharitis is swelling or inflammation of the eyelids, usually where the eyelash hair follicles are located.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
In people with blepharitis, too much oil is produced by the glands near the eyelid. The exact reason for this problem is not known. Blepharitis is more likely to be seen with:
- A skin condition called
seborrheic dermatitisor seborrhea, which often involves the scalp, eyebrows, eyelids, behind the ears, and creases of the nose Allergiesand licethat affect the eyelashes (less common)
- Excess growth of the bacteria that are normally found on the skin
Rosacea— a skin condition that makes the face turn red
Blepharitis may be linked to repeated
The eyelids appear red and irritated, with
You may feel like you have sand or dust in your eye when you blink. Sometimes, the eyelashes may fall out and the eyelids may become scarred.
Signs and tests
An examination of the eyelids during an eye examination is usually enough to diagnose blepharitis.
Careful daily cleansing of the eyelid edges helps remove the skin oils that cause bacteria to grow too much. Your health care provider might recommend using baby shampoo or special cleansers. Antibiotic ointments may also be helpful.
If you have blepharitis:
- Apply warm compresses to your eyes for 5 minutes, at least two times per day.
- Using a cotton swab, gently rub a solution of warm water and no-tears baby shampoo along your eyelid where the lash meets the lid. Do this in the morning and before you go to bed.
The likely outcome is good with treatment. You may need to keep the eyelid clean to prevent repeated problems. Continuing treatment will make the eyes less red and more comfortable.
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve after careful cleansing of the eyelids for several days.
Cleaning eyelids carefully will help prevent blepharitis. If a specific skin condition is present, it should be treated.