What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common eye disorder that unfortunately can be very uncomfortable. It is characterized by an inflammation of the eyelids, causing itchy and red eyelids. Lid margins particularly appear swollen and scaly. This condition may be linked with a generalized skin condition or a low-grade bacterial infection. Do you have to suffer from it? Read on to find out more about the types, causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention of blepharitis.

Types of blepharitis

Blepharitis can be classified into two. The first one is known as anterior blepharitis, affecting the front margin of the eyelid near the base of the eyelashes. The second type is known as posterior blepharitis affects the back margin of the eyelids, or the inner eyelid (the part that touches the eyes). It is the more common type of blepharitis. Any of these two types could be chronic blepharitis. But the levels of intensity differ. It will largely depend on such factors as the cause of the infection, your genetic inheritance, and your hygiene.

What causes blepharitis?

Blepharitis is caused by bacteria usually found on the skin. Other causes include seborrheic dermatitis (or dandruff of the eyebrows and scalp), acne rosacea (a skin condition that is characterized by redness of the face), dry eyes, diabetes, malfunctioning oil glands (meibomian) in your eyelid. It is also usually caused by conjunctivitis and trichiasis. Sometimes, blepharitis is caused by allergies or even a lice infestation on your eyelashes. This eye condition may be caused by a combination of factors.

Signs and symptoms

The surface of the eye becomes irritated as scales become coarser. It also forms crusts, causing the eyelids to stick together when you wake up. If this crust makes contact with your eye, you may experience a gritty sensation or feel like there is something in your eye. Other signs and symptoms of blepharitis include sensitivity to light, burning of the eye, swollen and red eyes or eyelids, dry eyes, and blurry vision. If the condition is caused by bacteria, possible long-term effects include visible and dilated capillaries, thickened lid margins, ectropion and entropion, and eyelash loss.

How to treatment blepharitis?

Blepharitis can be controlled with proper eyelid hygiene. If left untreated, it can progress into a more serious condition like injury to your eye’s tissue or scarring. If you are suffering from blepharitis, follow these steps to cleanse and help treat your eye: Wet a clean washcloth in warm water. Wring it and put it over your closed eyelids for about five minutes. This will loosen oily debris and soften crusts. You can re-wet the washcloth to maintain desired temperature. Place it over your index finger and clean your lid margins and eyelashes using a diluted solution of 50% mild soap or baby shampoo. Rub the washcloth using horizontal strokes. Rinse your lids and lashes using a clean, wet, and warm washcloth.

How to prevent blepharitis?

To prevent blepharitis, always keep your face and hands clean. You have to remove all makeup before going to bed. In addition, do not rub your eyes with a soiled handkerchief or dirty fingers.