Blepharitis – Eyelid Problems

Blepharitis is an inflammation of your eyelids. It can make your eyelids and eyelashes red and crusty, and make your eyes feel irritated or itchy. It can also lead to burning, soreness or stinging in your eyes.

In severe cases, your lashes may fall out, and you can develop small ulcers or styes as well. You may find your eyelids become puffy. The symptoms tend to be worse in the morning and when you wake up you may find your lids are stuck together.

Blepharitis can be uncomfortable, but it rarely causes serious eye damage.

It is a chronic (long-term) condition. This means that once you have had it, it can come back even after it has cleared up. It normally affects both eyes. You can usually treat it by just taking care with your hygiene, but you may need treatment for several months.

Why do I get blepharitis?

There are two types of blepharitis.

  • Anterior blepharitis, which affects the outside front edge of your eyelids (near your eyelashes). It may be caused by an infection by staphylococcus bacteria. If it is, it is called staphylococcal blepharitis. Posterior blepharitis, which is caused when something affects your meibomian glands (which produce part of your tears). It may be called meibomian blepharitis.
  • Another reason you may get blepharitis is as a complication of seborrhoeic dermatitis, which makes your skin inflamed or flaky. This can involve the scalp (when it is called dandruff), lashes, ears and eyebrows. Seborrhoeic dermatitis can cause both anterior and posterior blepharitis.

Who is at risk of blepharitis?

Blepharitis is more common in people over 50, but it can develop at any age. As you get older, the glands in your eyelids that secrete part of your tears become blocked more easily. Your tears contain fewer lubricants and your eyes can feel gritty and dry, so seborrhoeic blepharitis and meibomian blepharitis tend to happen more in older people.

Staphylococcal blepharitis happens in younger people.

How will I know I have blepharitis?

Your optometrist, doctor or eye specialist can spot the signs of blepharitis by looking closely at your eyelids.

A doctor can take a swab which they can send away to be checked to see if there is a staphylococcus bacteria infection.

Should you have any queries please contact us at Dixon Hempenstall Opticians .