Blepharitis refers to the inflammation of the eyelid resulting in red and itchy eyes. This is a very common eye condition and can affect people of all age groups. It is not a very serious condition and will not affect one's vision in the future. Yet, blepharitis can be very uncomfortable and annoying. It is often caused by a bacterial infection, blockage of glands in the eyelids, and it can also be caused by allergies. Some diseases and conditions also may result in inflammation of the eyelids. It may be difficult to manage blepharitis in some cases. Symptoms of blepharitis are usually seen in both eyes and affect both eyelids.
Some of the most common symptoms of blepharitis include:
- Dry eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Decrease in the oil secretions in the eyes
- Mild tearing of eyes
- Sandy feeling in the eyes
- Crusting on the eyelids
- Irritation in the eyes
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses
- Sensitivity to light
Signs of blepharitis include:
- Red margins in the eye lids
- Swelling in eye lids
- Flaking of skin around of eyes
- Loss of eye lashes
- Dry, flaky patches of skin
- Gluing together of eyes in the morning
Many times the symptoms of blepharitis are often confused with dryness of the eyes and conjunctivitis. Although blepharitis may not cause a serious condition it may lead to many complications.
Complications of blepharitis include:
- Sty – Bacterial infection of the oil glands in the eyes
- Chalazion – Blockage of oil glands
- Pink eye – This is a chronic condition with recurrent conjunctivitis
One should remember to meet with a doctor if there is pain in one or both of the eyes, or if the symptoms last for more than two weeks.
There is no complete cure for blepharitis but the symptoms can be alleviated by practicing proper eye hygiene. Apply a washcloth dipped in warm water over the eyelids. This will help in removing the crusts over the eye lids. One can also apply a mild soap solution in the water before applying over the eye lids. Cleansing the eyelids one at a time helps to remove the crust. Rinse the eyelids with a soft cloth and then pat it dry.