What is blepharitis?

Man with Viral Blepharitis Blepharitis is a medical condition that causes the eyelids to become inflamed. The inflammation can occur at the base of the eyelashes (where they meet the eyelid) or on the inner part of the eyelid. Blepharitis can affect people of all ages, but it is most common in adults.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

The most common symptom of blepharitis is a burning sensation in the eyes. Other symptoms include:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Crusty debris on the eyelashes
  • Swollen, red, and/or painful eyelids

How is blepharitis diagnosed?

Your doctor at Longwood Eye & LASIK Center will ask about your symptoms and medical history. He or she also performs a thorough eye examination. This will help to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye).

How is blepharitis treated?

There is currently not a cure for blepharitis, but the condition can be managed with good hygiene and regular treatment. Treatment options include:

  • Warm compresses: Applying a warm, wet compress to the affected eyelids for 5-10 minutes several times a day can help to loosen crusts and relieve symptoms.
  • Eyelid scrubs: Gently cleaning the eyelids with an eyelid scrub or baby shampoo can help to remove debris and reduce inflammation. This should be done once or twice a day.
  • Antibiotic ointment or drops: Applying an antibiotic cream or drop to the affected eyelids can help to clear up bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Oral antibiotics: In some cases, oral antibiotics are prescribed to help clear up a bacterial infection.
  • Corticosteroid drops:¬†These drops can be used to reduce inflammation.
  • Laser therapy: In some cases, laser therapy may be recommended to help reduce symptoms.

What are the complications of blepharitis?

If left untreated, blepharitis can lead to complications such as conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.

How can I prevent blepharitis?

There is no sure way to prevent blepharitis, but good hygiene can help to reduce the risk of developing the condition. Be sure to clean your eyelids regularly and see your doctor if you have any concerns about your eye health.

How do I connect with a doctor to learn more?

Our providers at the Longwood Eye & LASIK Center of Greenfield, Gardner, Springfield, and Fitchburg, MA, can evaluate you to decide if you are dealing with blepharitis and require treatment. Call 800-676-5050 to request an examination and initial consultation with our providers.


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