By Dr. Pavan Lohiya, Ophthalmology
Blepharitis is a condition wherein the glands on the base of the eyelashes get clogged; thus causing inflammation, red eye and irritation. Blepharitis affects both the eyes. Several diseases may cause Blepharitis, making it difficult to treat the chronic condition. It is usually uncomfortable and unattractive but doesn’t cause any permanent damage to your eyesight.
Symptoms of Blepharitis -
- Red, watery eyes that sting;
- Itchy, greasy and swollen eyelids;
- Crusted eyelashes or eyelids sticking to one another;
- Frequent blinking and sensitivity to light;
- Increasing loss of eyelashes.
The causes of Blepharitis are unclear and may be due to more than one factor. The following conditions are the plausible causes for this disease:
- Seborrheic dermatitis i.e. dandruff near your eyes;
- Bacterial infection;
- Malfunctioning or clogged oil glands in your eyelids;
- Rosacea i.e. facial redness skin condition;
- Allergies due to eye medication, eye makeup and contact lenses;
- Eyelash mites or lice.
Blepharitis is categorized into two types i.e. Anterior Blepharitis and Posterior Blepharitis. You can be affected by both types at the same time, but with varying degrees of severity. When the eyelashes are attached, the outside part of the eyelid is affected by Anterior Blepharitis. On the other hand, Posterior Blepharitis is when the meibomian glands within the eyelids which secrete oil to lubricate the eyes become dysfunctional.
How can it be treated?
- You can treat Blepharitis by taking self-care measures such as using a warm compress and washing your eyes.
- If that is not enough to treat the condition, your doctor may recommend you medications which fight infection (antibiotics in the form of eye drops and ointments), control inflammation (steroid eyedrops), affect the immune system or cure other underlying conditions such as dermatitis, rosacea, etc.