Blepharitis is a common eyelid disorder. It is a subacute or chronic inflammation of the eyelids margin causing red, swollen, or itchy eyelids and crusty dandruff on eyelashes.
The eyelids are the folds of skin that help to keep the eye safe from debris and injury. It commonly occurs when the tiny oily glands located at the edge of eyelids become clogged or irritated.
It is a common condition that anyone can develop at any age but mostly seen in younger ones and those people older than 50 years of age. Usually, it affects both eyes.
No doubt, it is uncomfortable and irritating but it is not contagious. Vision is rarely affected.
Depending upon the location, there are two types of blepharitis.
- Anterior blepharitis : Usually, affects the external eyelid where eyelashes are attached.
- Posterior blepharitis: Affects the inner eyelid. It is a result of abnormalities of meibomian gland in the inner eyelid. It is the leading cause of evaporative dry eyes.
Blepharitis usually occurs either when certain skin conditions cause irritation or when bacterial infection or even a combination of these two.
Causes and Risk factors
Well, the exact cause is unknown. But mostly it is believed that too much bacteria in your eyelid at the base of eyelashes can cause blepharitis. Following mentioned factors can cause blepharitis too.
- Seborrheic dermatitis – Dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
- Bacterial infections
- Poor hygiene while using cosmetics products
- Due to exposure to some pollutants and certain chemicals
- Allergies- including allergic reaction to eye medication, contact lenses solution.
- Rosacea – a skin condition that cause redness and bumps mostly on face
Sign and Symptoms
Basically, blepharitis shows yellow crust formation over the eyelid margin along with redness and tylosis. Tylosis is thickening of the lid margin. Sometimes, mild conjunctival congestions may appear. Similarly, small ulcers can also appear which usually bleed easily on removing the crusts.
One can experience the following symptoms.
- Itchy eyes and burning sensation in the eyelids area
- May experience foreign body sensation once if crust fall on eye surface especially in morning
- Redness and swollen eyelids
- Chronic irritation
- Madarosis (Loss of eyelashes)
- Light sensitivity (photophobia)
- Eyelids sticking together
- Misdirected eyelashes
- Flaky eyelashes
- Frequent stye and chalazion
What are the Complications of blepharitis?
Following complications can happen due to this condition.
- Stye(Hordeolum) : Stye is a localized infection in the eyelid that causes a tender ,red bump near the edge of eyelids.
- Chalazion : Chalazion is a painless, non-infectious bump on the eyelids which mostly occur due to obstruction of ducts.
- Tear film instability
- Corneal infections due to abnormal or decreased oil production
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses
- Secondary inflammatory change over conjunctiva , lacrimal glands and cornea.
- Excessive tearing
- Can happen marginal keratitis
- Tylosis (thickening of eyelids)
- Some types of blepharitis can even cause Pink eye.
Furthermore, it’s quite important to distinguish these condition from sebaceous carcinoma. Sebaceous carcinoma is a cancerous skin lesion which rarely grow on eyelid skin.
Treatment of blepharitis
Depending upon the severity of the conditions, treatment option is required. Initially, it can be treated at home too. As it is a chronic condition and can occur frequently. Make sure not to rub your eyes or fingering the eyelid tips.
First avoid eye makeup, this will help to decrease irritation. Apply warm compression over eyelid. Because this will help to soften the crusts.
Clean your eyelids frequently. Maintaining good eyelid hygiene is most. Scrub your eyelids with clean cotton swab using clean water and baby Johnson’s shampoo.
If condition persists for long then visit eye hospital for medical intervention. Then doctor will have a look and may prescribe antibiotics or even steroid medication depending upon the case.
How can you prevent blepharitis?
It is best idea to prevent the condition before it’s too late. Right??
To prevent this condition, first make sure to clean your eyelids as well as eyes properly. You can follow the following tips so as to get rid of blepharitis.
- Clean your all eye makeups properly before going to bed.
- Don’t use expired eye care as well as makeup products
- Better not use eyeliner on the back edge of eyelids behind eyelashes
- If you already had blepharitis, make sure to avoid eye makeup until it is cleared.
- Avoid touching eyes or even face. If you have to touch, use clean cloth or tissue.
- If you are contact lens user, use glasses until condition clear up.