Blepharitis Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Blepharitis is the medical term for inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis is a common and treatable condition for many patients, who experience irritated and itchy, dandruff-like scales that can form on their eyelashes. It affects people of all ages.

Do I Have Blepharitis? What Are the Symptoms?

Blepharitis can range in symptoms and levels of discomfort. If you are experiencing some blepharitis symptoms, it may be best to consult your eye doctor. The following is a list of common blepharitis symptoms.

  • Tearing
  • Itchy eyelids
  • General eye irritation
  • Eye dryness
  • ‘Sticking’ together of the eyelids when waking
  • Burning
  • Redness around the eyelids
  • Sensation of a foreign object in the eye
  • Debris or crusting on the outer parts of the lids

If bacterial blepharitis goes untreated, severe complications could occur such as eye infections, styes, and corneal erosions. Other issues may include problems with eyelids and eyelashes such as dilated capillaries, crooked or thinning eyelashes, or thickening or irregular eyelid margins.

Will Blepharitis Cause Eye Pain?

Blepharitis may cause some eye pain, discomfort or irritation depending on how severe the case is. If left untreated, blepharitis can affect the growth of eyelashes by causing thinning.

What Causes Blepharitis? Is It Contagious?

Blepharitis usually involves irritation of tiny oil glands located where the eyelashes grow. The openings of each gland lie behind the eyelashes. When irritated, they can produce abnormal secretions that inflame or irritate the eyelid margins. Underlying causes of the condition can include bacterial eyelid infection, Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), dry eyes, or fungal eyelid infections.

Although uncomfortable, blepharitis is not typically contagious and typically does not cause permanent eyesight damage.

Can Blepharitis Be Treated or Cured?

Yes. Treatment depends on the type of blepharitis, but most patients will be instructed to clean the lids clean to keep them free of crusts. Your eye doctor may prescribe an eye scrub for you or, if the condition involves a bacterial infection, an antibiotic may be prescribed.

For more information about blepharitis or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stroham, contact us today.