What is it?
Blepharitis is an inflammation or infection of the edge of the eyelids, which causes redness and swelling of the eyelids. It affects the lid margin and specifically the eyelash follicles and the glands located between them. Blepharitis, in general terms, is a benign condition but can cause very unpleasant symptoms. It involves a variety of inflammatory processes, which determines the severity of blepharitis and varies considerably from one individual to another.
Symptoms are often nonspecific and worsen in the morning. They include burning and itching, gritty feeling in the eyes, increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), tearing, eyelid heaviness, excessive blinking and eye pain. The edges of the eyelid look swollen, red and irritated, with presence of scales or yellowish scabs that stick to the base of the eyelashes. Sometimes it occurs with styes or recurrent chalazion. In severe cases this causes the abnormal growth or even loss of eyelashes.
The treatment is based on the daily cleaning of the edge of the eyelids. The lid hygiene helps remove bacteria and excess oils. For this, the periodic use of neutral shampoo (not irritating) or special cleansers gently rubbing the edge of the eyelids helps relieve symptoms. Topical (drops or ointments) or oral antibiotics are prescribed in the most severe cases of blepharitis.
There is no specific cause of blepharitis, the most common cause is associated with an overgrowth of bacteria in the eyelids. Blepharitis may be associated with predisposing skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, atopic or rosacea. The best prevention is based on exhaustive eyelid hygiene. Regular cleaning of the edge of the eyelids helps remove bacteria and decreases the chance of developing this condition.