Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids in which the eyelids become red, itchy, swollen, or have a burning sensation. Although it does not cause permanent damage to vision, blepharitis is often a chronic condition, difficult to definitively treat, and is common in people of all ages. Learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment of blepharitis through the article below with the Japan International Eye Hospital.


What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is inflammation of the epidermis of the free margin of the eyelid, including acute or chronic lesions. Blepharitis is classified into two types:

  • Anterior blepharitis occurs on the anterior outer edge of the eyelid, the base of the eyelashes.
  • Posterior blepharitis occurs at the inner edge of the eyelid that touches the eyeball.

Causes of blepharitis

Anterior blepharitis is usually caused by bacteria (staphylococcal blepharitis) or dandruff on the scalp and eyebrows (seborrheic blepharitis). These bacteria are usually found on the face and eyelids, but if they become excessive or the eyelid area responds poorly to their presence, an infection can occur. Less commonly, an eyelash allergy or infection can also cause anterior blepharitis.

Posterior blepharitis can occur when there is an abnormality such as a blockage in the oil-producing glands of the eyelids (Meibomian blepharitis). This creates a favorable environment for bacteria to grow. Posterior blepharitis can also develop due to other skin conditions, such as rosacea and scalp dandruff.

Polluted environment can be the cause of blepharitis

Symptoms of blepharitis

According to scientific research, blepharitis does not affect vision or other worrisome problems in the eyes. However, the patient will experience discomfort in the eyes along with some of the common symptoms as follows:

  • Weep.
  • Burning, stinging, burning sensation, as if there is a foreign body inside the eye.
  • Eyelids are oily, itchy, red, swollen, and scaly.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Sensitive to light.
  • Loss of eyelashes, sticky eyelids.
  • Up close, squint.

For some people, blepharitis causes only mild irritation and itching. However, it can lead to more serious symptoms such as blurred vision, missing or wrong eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissues, especially the cornea. If rubbed a lot, the inflamed eyelid margin becomes irritated, which can cause a secondary infection.

Itchy, red and scaly eyelids are common symptoms of blepharitis

How to treat blepharitis

Some solutions to treat blepharitis:

Warm compress

Use a clean washcloth, soak it in warm water and wring it out, then place the towel over your eyes. This will help open up the clogged oil glands, loosening the debris around the eyelashes. Patients can also use warm compresses combined with massage to unclog the oil glands in the eyelids.

Cleanse eyelids

Using a clean towel, cotton swab or cotton pad, soak in baby shampoo diluted in warm water. Then use it to gently scrub at the base of your lashes for about 15 seconds. Keeping eyelids, skin, and hair clean is important in keeping blepharitis under control.

Use medications as prescribed by your doctor

An ophthalmologist may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to treat symptoms of inflammation on the eyelid margin. Artificial tears or antibiotic eye drops may be prescribed to help reduce redness, swelling, and dry eyes and help the oil glands work better.

Some notes for patients with blepharitis:

  • Discontinue eye makeup when blepharitis occurs as it makes eye cleaning more difficult.
  • Temporarily stop wearing contact lenses during treatment.
  • Supplementing with Omega because this nutrient helps the oil glands in the eyelids work better.
  • Wear eye protection every time you go out.
  • Limit touching your eyes without washing your hands, limit the impact on your eyelids such as scratching your eyes.
Protecting the eyes from bacteria is essential while treating blepharitis
  • Protecting the eye from bacteria is essential when treating blepharitis.
  • To make the eye recovery process faster, patients can combine abstaining from eating some foods rich in fructose and fat such as: honey, corn, oil, butter, etc and limit the use of beverages with alcohol.
  • If the disease progresses seriously, the patient can consider going to reputable ophthalmology facilities to perform pus injection.
  • Although it is possible to apply some home remedies, patients should actively visit and treat at reputable ophthalmology facilities to avoid complications such as: ingrown eyelashes, conjunctivitis , keratitis, pterygium, stye, etc.
Eye exams help limit disease complications

👉 Register for an eye exam at Japan International Eye Hospital:

Blepharitis is not difficult to treat, but it is easy to recur and depends a lot on the patient's daily living habits. Therefore, the effective and long-term solution is to maintain a healthy and hygienic lifestyle.