Introduction to Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a condition where the edges of the eyelids become sore and inflamed. Blepharitis is a common condition; around 1 in 20 who see a GP for an eye related problem have Blepharitis.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a condition where the edges of the eyelids become sore and inflamed. Blepharitis is a common condition; around 1 in 20 who see a GP for an eye related problem have Blepharitis. It can affect people of all ages, but is more common in people over the age of 40. Unlike some eye infections, blepharitis is not contagious. Blepharitis is usually a long-term condition and people generally experience episodes of symptoms and then periods of respite.
What causes Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is usually called by a bacterium called Staphylococcus. It is a bacterium that normally lives harmlessly on the skin, but sometimes can cause infections. Blepharitis can also occur as a complication of other skin conditions such as seborrhoeic dermatitis, which causes the skin to become oily or flaky, or rosacea, which is a condition that makes the skin red and blotchy.
What are the symptoms of Blepharitis?
The main symptoms of blepharitis include red, itchy, sore and swollen eyelids, eyelids that are sticky and difficult to open and greasy or crusty eyelashes.
How is Blepharitis treated?
Blepharitis is a long-term condition that cannot be cured, but a good eye cleaning routine helps to control symptoms. A good eye cleaning routine involves holding a warm compress, such a cotton pad, on the eyelid and cleaning away any crustiness. Sometimes severe blepharitis may need antibiotic treatment.
Blepharitis is not a serious condition, however, sometimes people develop complications as a result. These include dry eye syndrome, where the eyes do not produce enough tears and dry out easily. Blepharitis can also cause problems with the eyelids such as swelling, itchy, gritty or flaky eyelids. A specialist eye doctor called an ophthalmologist will be able to give you more information on the condition and the treatments.