What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Blepharitis is an eye condition characterised by swelling, redness, and itchiness of the eyelids. While it is not contagious, it is relatively common in people of any age.

This eye condition is usually mild and does not cause significant problems to your eyesight or vision. However, blepharitis can be uncomfortable due to itchiness and swelling. It also makes your eyes look quite unsightly. Mobidoctor’s GPs can provide you with treatment options and advice to help prevent the disease's future reoccurrence.

What Causes Blepharitis?

There are two common causes of blepharitis, namely:

• Staphylococcus Bacteria Infection

Staphylococcus is a bacteria group that usually resides in a person’s skin and body. But sometimes, triggering factors may cause the bacteria to activate and multiply, leading to infections. People who also have sensitive eyelids may react poorly to the presence of staphylococcus on the facial skin. A bacterial infection is often the leading cause of anterior blepharitis (infection of the eyelids’ outer front edge, where the eyelashes are attached).

• Meibomian Gland Problems

Your eyes are kept moist by oily substances secreted by the Meibomian glands. These glands reside at the edge of your eyelids, touching the eyeballs. Posterior blepharitis (infection at the eyelids’ inner corners) happens when the Meibomian glands produce either too much or irregular amounts of oil, irritating the eyelids and leading to inflammation.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Typical symptoms of the condition include:

• Swollen, sore, and reddish eyelids
• Dryness of the eyes
• Eyelids sticking together when it is closed
• White crusts on the eyelashes

If you develop blepharitis while wearing contact lenses, it could be very uncomfortable for the eyes. Taking out and wearing contact lenses may be difficult as well.

How to treat Blepharitis?

Here are the usual treatment interventions you can do to heal your blepharitis:

• Placing a warm flannel over the affected eye

• Using a clean cotton bud to massage your eyelids gently

• Cleaning the affected eye with a particular eyelid cleaning solution

If these home remedies don’t work, your physician will typically prescribe eyedrops or gels to lubricate your eyes or clear up infections in the eyelids. Mobidoctor GPs can prescribe the needed medications and conveniently send them to a pharmacy of your choice for pick-up.

The initial onset of blepharitis can usually be treated successfully. But many people experience a reoccurrence at some later point. Practising good hygiene can help prevent another outbreak from happening.