Blepharitis (pronounced 'blef-uh-RYE-tis') is an inflammation at the edge of your eyelids, usually affecting both eyes. Blepharitis commonly occurs when the tiny oil glands at the base of your eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation and redness.
Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that's difficult to treat and uncomfortable. But it usually doesn't cause permanent damage and is not contagious.
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- A gritty, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
- Eyelids that appear greasy
- Itchy eyelids
- Red, swollen eyelids
- Flaking of the skin around the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes
- Eyelid sticking
- More frequent blinking
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision that usually improves with blinking
“Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation and redness. It's often a chronic condition that's difficult to treat...but it usually doesn't cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it's not contagious.”
ALEX IONIDES, CONSULTANT OPHTHALMIC SURGEON AT MOORFIELDS EYE HOSPITAL, CO-FOUNDER AT MTHK.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose blepharitis include:
- Examining your eyes. Your doctor might use a special magnifying instrument to examine your eyelids and eyes.
- Swabbing skin for testing. Sometimes, your doctor might use a swab to collect a sample of the oil or crust that forms on your eyelid. This sample can be analysed for bacteria, fungi or evidence of an allergy.