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Eye Diseases and Conditions

Picture of Blepharitis

Picture of Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids and occurs in two forms, anterior (outside of the eyelid) and posterior (inner eyelid). Both types of blepharitis can cause a burning or foreign body sensation, excessive tearing, itching, sensitivity to light, red and swollen eyelids, redness of the eye, blurred vision, frothy tears, dry eye, flaking at the base of the lashes, or crusting of the eyelashes upon awakening. Common causes for anterior blepharitis are bacteria (Staphylococcus) and scalp dandruff while posterior forms are caused by problems with the oil glands in the eyelid. Treatment for both forms involves keeping eyelids clean and free of crusts. Warm compresses should be applied to loosen crusts, followed by a light scrubbing with a cotton swab and a mixture of water and baby shampoo. Because blepharitis rarely goes away completely, most patients must maintain an eyelid hygiene routine for life. If the blepharitis is severe, an eye-care professional may also prescribe antibiotics or steroid eyedrops.

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Reviewed by Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS on September 17, 2009

Image Source: Dr. Andrew A. Dahl, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Text: MedicineNet - Blepharitis