Blepharitis is inflammation (pain, heat and swelling) of the eyelids. It usually affects both eyes. Although it feels uncomfortable, it does not cause loss of sight. Blepharitis tends to recur, but you can prevent it.
The most common cause of blepharitis is a bacterial infection. The infection can be at the base of the eyelashes or in the glands of the eyelids.
Other causes include:
- blocked oil glands at the edge of the eyelids
- allergic reactions to eye drops
- skin complaints such as dandruff or rosacea (skin redness)
If you have blepharitis, these are some of the symptoms you might experience:
- a feeling that something is in your eye
- have itchy or burning eyes and eyelids
- find the edge of your eyelids are red
- have watery eyes
- be sensitive to light
- have crusty or sticky eyelashes, especially in the morning
Your doctor will probably ask you about your symptoms and check your eyes. If your doctor suspects an infection, they may prescribe an antibiotic ointment. Your doctor may also prescribe steroid eye drops to reduce the swelling.
If the symptoms persist or worsen you may be referred by you GP, Optometrist or other specialist to see an Ophthalmologist.