Blepharitis refers to inflammation of the
eyelids, particularly at the lid margins. It's a common disorder and
may be associated with a low-grade bacterial infection or a generalized
The condition can be difficult to manage because it tends to recur. Another term for blepharitis is granulated eyelids. Angular blepharitis is a term used to describe blepharitis which primarily affects the outer corners of the eyelids.
There are two types of blepharitis:
1.Anterior blepharitis affects the anterior margin (front) of the eyelid near the roots of the eyelashes. The causes are seborrheic dermatitis (similar to dandruff) and, more rarely, infection by Staphylococcus bacteria.
2.Posterior blepharitis affects the posterior margin (back) of the eyelids, the part that makes contact with the eyes. This is caused by the oil glands present in this region and can be exacerbated by scalp dandruff. It is by far the most common type of blepharitis.
Blepharitis involves the eyelid margins, where the eyelashes grow and the openings of the tiny oil glands near the base of the lashes are located. There may be involvement of the outer edges of the eyelid margins adjacent to the skin or/and the inner edge of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eyeball. Changes in the skin of the eyelids or the surface of the eye itself are usually secondary to the underlying disorder of the lid margins.
1.The cause of most cases of blepharitis is a malfunction of the oil glands of the lids. There are about 40 of these glands in each of the upper and lower lids. When these oil glands produce too much, too little, or the wrong types of oils, the eyelid margins can become inflamed, irritated, and itchy. Acne rosacea, a generalized illness of oil glands, is sometimes the underlying cause of this process.
2.There are some types of blepharitis that are due to disorders of the lid margin around the lashes. These include seborrheic blepharitis, which is similar to dandruff of the scalp, and infection of the lash base by Staphylococcal bacteria.
3.Allergies can also cause blepharitis. These include sensitivities to substances coming into direct contact with the lid margins, including mascara and contact lens solutions. Various sprays, exposure to animals, environmental chemicals, or airborne allergens can also cause blepharitis.
4.Less commonly, inflammation of the lids can be caused by a primary infection of the eyelids by bacteria or infestation of the lashes by tiny mites or head lice.
5.Blepharitis may also be caused by systemic (affecting areas throughout the body) medical conditions or skin cancers of various types.
1.Present in eyelids of both the eyes.
3.Watering from eyes.
4.Sometimes, sensation of dryness in the eyes.
5.Burning and gritty sensation in the eyes.
6.Foreign body sensation in the eyes.
7.Sensitive to light.
8.Swollen eyelids with redness.
9.Red eye lid margins.
10.Matting of the lashes or eyes "glued together" in the morning,
11.Eyelashes that grow abnormally,
12.Loss of eyelashes,
13.Mild scarring of the eyelid margins,
14.Mild ulceration of the lid margins,
15.Dry and flaky patches of skin on the lid, and
16.Dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows.
Blepharitis can be usually diagnosed by a physician based on the history as given by the patient and physical examination.
The physical examination should place special emphasis on evaluation of the eyelids, lid margins, base of the lashes, oil gland openings, tear quantity and quality, and front surface of the eyeball using a slit lamp, which allows a magnified view with sufficient illumination.
Blepharitis can be difficult to manage because it tends to recur. Depending on the type of blepharitis you have, treatment may include applying warm compresses to the eyelids, cleansing them and/or massaging the lids.
If blepharitis makes your eyes feel dry, your doctor also may prescribe artificial tears or lubricating ointments.
The warm compress portion of treatment is designed to loosen crusts on your eyes before you cleanse them; it can also warm up and loosen the plugs blocking the meibomian glands.
Cleansing the eyelids is essential to blepharitis treatment. Your doctor will recommend what cleansing agent to use, such as warm water only, salt water etc.
Clean eyelids by following these steps: