Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It is characterized by redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. It can be caused by various bacteria and be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have a flare up. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye, and you can see redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens nearer the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye. Posterior blepharitis can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids.
Eyelid hygiene can help maintain eye comfort and appearance. Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and occasionally doing a soak or warm compress.
Dr. Most or Dr. Elston can diagnose either type of blepharitis during a comprehensive eye exam. Additional testing may be necessary, but generally the symptoms make it obvious. Treatment options are abundant and usually non-invasive. Treatments include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. Blepharitis, in some cases, requires ongoing treatment along with eyelid hygiene to maintain eye comfort and appearance. Call our office today if you need to schedule an eye exam or have questions about your eye health!