Published: Feb. 8, 2012
Updated: Mar. 16, 2012
Blepharitis is an inflammation that affects the rim of the eyelid. Blepharitis causes red, itchy eyelids, and can result in dandruff-like scales by the eyelashes. The problem can be acute or recurring, and may be the result of a bacterial infection.
If you’re suffering from blepharitis, you may experience these symptoms:
More severe cases of blepharitis can cause blurry vision, missing eyelashes, and eye inflammation (such as keratitis and conjunctivitis).
The cause of blepharitis depends on the type that affects the eyelid.
Anterior blepharitis, which occurs on the eyelid where the eyelashes attach, is often an infection caused by bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis) or can be caused by dandruff (seborrheic blepharitis).
Posterior blepharitis can result from irregular oil production (meibomian blepharitis), which can promote bacteria growth. It can also occur as an effect of rosacea and scalp dandruff.
You can have both types of blepharitis at the same time.
In many cases, blepharitis can be treated without drugs. Warm compresses (such as a warm, wet washcloth) can help, as can washing the eyelid rim with baby shampoo and water.
In more severe cases, your eye doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to help with infection.
For blepharitis and related eye treatments, visit a Duke Eye Center location near you in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Winston-Salem, and other areas of North Carolina.