What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammation in the oil glands of the eyelid, usually along the edge of the eyelid and eyelashes. It is a very common condition, seen most often in adults. It may be associated with a low-grade bacterial infection or another skin condition.

What causes Blepharitis?

Abnormalities in oil gland function and a change in bacterial colonies that normally live on the skin can both contribute. This condition is not contagious, so it cannot be passed from one person to another.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Common symptoms are:

  • Swollen, tender eyelids
  • Excessive crusting of the eyelashes (typically in the morning)
  • Foreign body sensation in the eye may occur as well
  • Dry eye – dry, sandy sensation in the eye

How is Blepharitis treated?

Treatment aims to reduce bacteria and open the plugged oil glands along the lid margin. There is no cure; it is a chronic condition. However, if you follow your eye doctor’s instructions, your symptoms may be controlled.

To learn more: Facts about Blepharitis from the National Eye Institute