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What is Blepharitis?

Inflammation of eyelids is known as Blepharitis. This condition is characterized by redness, crusting, scaling, inflammation of eyelids. It causes burning sensation, itching, foreign body sensation and dryness in the eyes.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Below we have mentioned some of  blepharitis symptoms:

  • Burning sensation, Itching, scaling of eyelids.

  • Crusty eyelids

  • Photophobia, blurred vision, foreign body sensation

  • Watering of eyes

  • Red eye

  • Loss of eyelashes

  • Recurrent stye

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Itching Eyelids Causes

Below we have mentioned some of  blepharitis causes:

  • Infection e.g. Bacterial or parasitic infection.
  • Seborrheic tendency of individual (some individuals are prone for dandruff formation over scalp etc).

Types of Blepharitis

  • Staphylococcal Blepharitis

  • Seborrheic Blepharitis

  • Ulcerative Blepharitis

  • Meibomian Blepharitis

An Insight into Diagnosing Blepharitis Eyelid Dermatitis

Slit lamp examination of eye lid margin, eye lashes, meibomian gland opening, tear film status, debris can give idea about Blepharitis. In parasitic Blepharitis, parasites (Demodex folliculorum, Pthiriasis palpebrum etc) can be seen in matted eyelashes. Tear break up time is on lower side due to associated dryness with Blepharitis.

Know More About Itching Eyelids or Blepharitis Treatment

Blepharitis Treatment (Eye Dandruff Treatment)

Below we have mentioned three types of blepharitis treatments in detail:

When it comes to blepharitis treatment, Lid hygiene serves to be the most important remedy, it carries the potential to prevent occurrence of Blepharitis. Washing eyelid margin with hypoallergenic soap/ shampoo (Johnson baby shampoo) while taking bath may prevent Blepharitis. Proper treatment for dermatological condition by a dermatologist is necessary. Blepharitis is chronic condition with frequent exacerbation which needs routine eyelid hygiene.

Another available blepharitis treatment is to practice warm compresses. It softens & loosens crusty deposits over eyelid margin. It helps in stimulating oily meibum secretion from meibomian glands which is required for proper functioning of tear film. Wet warm cloth compresses for 5 minutes per eye is recommended.

Medical line of treatment includes topical antibiotic & steroid eye drops under supervision of your eye doctor. Lubricant drops give symptomatic relief, removes foreign body sensation. Some ointment containing azithromycin works well for meibomitis. Oral antibiotic e.g. doxycycline helps in severe condition.

Lot of times people worry how long does Blepharitis last. Well, Blepharitis is a chronic disease and tends to relapse. However, it is not contagious. So it is important that home remedies or blepharitis treatment like lid scrubs and warm compresses should not be discontinued. 

If not controlled and in some severe cases, Blepharitis can lead to eye surface inflammation with involvement of limbus and cornea. Untreated this can lead to severe vision loss as well. Hence it is important to receive the best blepharitis treatment available around you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What causes Blepharitis?

Blepharitis or inflammation of eyelid usually occurs when the tiny oil glands at the base of eyelashes and eyelids become clogged. Although any individual can develop this condition, there are a few factors that increase the chances of contracting this disease. These may include: –

  • Bacterial infections
  • Eyelash lice or mites
  • Malfunctioning or clogged glands in the eyelids
  • Rosacea, which is a skin condition that causes facial redness
  • Allergies to eye makeup, eye medications, or contact lens solutions

Your ophthalmologist may suggest you to take blepharitis medicine or use a warm compress to treat the mild conditions of this disease . Here are some of the many blepharitis treatment techniques: –

  • Antibiotics – If your medical tests show that you have a bacterial infection in your eyelids, as a blepharitis treatment, you may be recommended by your doctor to take antibiotics as eye drops, ointments, or creams.
  • Steroid Medication – In this blepharitis treatment technique, you may be suggested to take steroid eye drops or ointments to control the inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Treatment of underlying condition – In case your Blepharitis is a consequence of another medical condition such as seborrheic dermatitis of the eyelids or rosacea, treatment of the underlying condition can help cure this disease.
  • Restasis for blepharitis treatment – Restasis refers to the prescription medication that helps relieve the symptoms of this medical condition.

Most patients with this medical condition find that the symptoms of Blepharitis are worse after sleep. The eyelids are closed for an extended period during sleep, which allows debris and oil to accumulate along the eyelids.

There are a few medical tests that are conducted to diagnose Blepharitis. Your eye doctor may either carefully examine your eyelids using a magnifying glass or take a sample of crust or oil from your eyelid.

Blepharitis can be classified into four major types. They are: –

  • Staphylococcal Blepharitis – This type of Blepharitis is caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Normally, certain types of this bacteria can live on the human body without causing any harm. However, sometimes there can be some bacterial growth or overgrowth of some types of harmful bacteria that can infect the eyelashes and eyelids.
  • Seborrheic Blepharitis – The patients of seborrheic blepharitis have greasy scales or flakes around the base of eyelashes.
  • Ulcerative Blepharitis – In contrast with seborrheic blepharitis, ulcerative blepharitis patients have matted, hard crusts around the eyelashes. Removing these crusts can leave small sores that ooze and bleed.
  • Meibomian Blepharitis – It is a meibomian gland inflammation of eyelids that obstructs the oil glands of the eyelid. This condition is a very common cause of chronic eye redness and discomfort.


In most cases, Blepharitis occurs when someone has too much bacteria on their eyelids and at the base of their eyelashes. Having bacteria on your skin is normal, but too much bacteria may cause problems. One can also contract this medical condition if the oil glands in their eyelids get irritated or clogged.

Blepharitis can get worse in air-conditioned environments, cold, windy weather, prolonged computer usage, sleep deprivation, contact lens and even general dehydration. It can also worsen in the presence of active skin diseases such as acne rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis.

To understand the difference between chronic blepharitis, anterior blepharitis, squamous Blepharitis and posterior Blepharitis, let us take a look at them one by one: –

  • Chronic Blepharitis – It is a non infectious inflammation with an unknown cause. In this type of blepharitis, a gland called meibomian in our eyelids produces altered lipid secretion that causes the evaporation of tears.
  • Anterior Blepharitis – It is commonly caused by bacteria, eyelash dandruff, or scalp dandruff. If this bacteria is present in excess amount, infection can occur.
  • Squamous Blepharitis – It is a type of blepharitis that is caused by bacterias such as staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcus epidermidis.
  • Posterior Blepharitis – This type affects the inner edge of our eyelids which happens when oil glands get clogged.

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