A closer look at the condition of Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a common eye condition that causes irritation and tenderness. The skin of the eyelids becomes red, thickened and flakey, with some crusting often occurring along the lash line. If left untreated, a sticky biofilm forms along the eyelid, and can lead to lash loss, clogged glands and infection.

Although it can be very uncomfortable, Blepharitis is rarely serious and can easily be treated with some simple steps. Let’s take a closer look at the condition and how it can be treated and prevented.

Identifying Blepharitis

Blepharitis is usually diagnosed by a professional at your routine eye health check. It’s most common in young children and adults over 50, but can affect anyone. Alongside redness and flaking, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Itchy or burning sensations in the eyes or around the eyelids
  • Greasy skin around the eyelid
  • Gritty sensations in the eyes where it feels like something is stuck
  • Sticky eyelids in the morning
  • Foamy or bubbly tears

Blepharitis can occur alongside other eye conditions such as dry eye, eyelid styes and conjunctivitis. If you think you are struggling with any of these symptoms or conditions, it’s important to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

The causes of blepharitis

There are two types of blepharitis - Anterior and Posterior. Anterior blepharitis affects the outside of your eyes, typically along the lash line. It’s commonly caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus. Acute cases (where symptoms appear suddenly within a few days) can be caused by infections, allergies, reactions to medications or supplements, or by an infestation of lash lice or demodex – a microscopic mite that lives in hair follicles. If the symptoms have been coming and going over several months, it’s likely to be chronic Blepharitis, which is usually caused by poor eye hygiene, seasonal allergies or makeup overuse.

Posterior blepharitis impacts the back of the eyelid, where it touches the eye. It’s normally caused by the overproduction of oil by the sebum glands. The glands can become blocked and sore, leading to infection. Posterior blepharitis can also be caused by skin conditions such as scalp dandruff and rosacea.

Treatment and prevention of blepharitis

If you think you may have Blepharitis, it’s important to see a specialist as soon as possible. Treatment includes regular cleansing of the eyelids and the application of a cool compress to reduce inflammation. Dry eye and Blepharitis are often treated together, with artificial tears often recommended as part of treatment. In some cases antibiotics or steroids may be prescribed in the form of eye drops. 

To prevent flare ups, you can reduce your use of contact lenses and ensure all makeup is removed from the eyes before you go to sleep.

Here at the Eye Establishment, our experts can help with the diagnosis of eye conditions such as Blepharitis. If you’re looking for the best eye test in London, our opticians will provide both a sight check and an assessment of your eye health, ensuring any issues are identified. We’re also one of the city’s leading Garrett Leight stores, offering a wide range of glasses and sunglasses from this celebrated brand, alongside other premium brands such as LGR, Dita and Eyevan.