Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, causing red, irritated, itchy eyelids and the formation of dandruff-like scales on the eyelashes. It is a common eye disorder with a wide variety of causes. It affects people of all ages. Although it may be uncomfortable, annoying, or unattractive, blepharitis is not contagious and does not cause permanent damage to eyesight. The condition can be difficult to manage and it tends to recur. Another term for blepharitis is granulated eyelids. Angular blepharitis describes inflammation that primarily affects the outer corners of the eyelids.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Red eyelid margins
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Increased shedding of skin cells near the eyelids causing flaking of the skin around the eyes
  • Matting of the lashes or eyes “glued together” in the morning
  • Eyelids that appear greasy and crusted with scales that cling to the lashes
  • Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
  • Tears that are frothy or bubbly in nature
  • Eyelashes that grow abnormally
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Mild scarring of the eyelid margins
  • Mild ulceration of the lid margins
  • Dry and flaky patches of skin on the lid
  • Dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows.

Complications of Blepharitis

  • Sty: A sty (sometimes spelled stye) or hordeolum is a bacterial infection in one of the oil glands whose opening is clogged. The result is a painful lump on the edge or inside of the eyelid.
  • Chalazion: A chalazion or conjunctival granuloma occurs when blockage in the oil glands causes them to become enlarged and scarred.
  • Chronic pink eye: Blepharitis can lead to recurrent bouts of pink eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Ulceration of the cornea: Constant irritation from inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes may cause a sore (ulcer) to develop on the cornea.

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