Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that is somewhat common and readily treatable. It is characterized by redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin. It can be quite uncomfortable and unattractive as symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. It may 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 blepharitis flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
There are various types of this condition that have various causes, symptoms, and treatments. 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.
Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. It sometimes requires ongoing treatment. 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.
If you are having any symptoms, call us to schedule an appointment right away. Dr. Diane Short or Dr. Zachary Short can diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam. Your eye doctor will help you determine which treatment options to try so you can see clearly and comfortably!