Blepharitis is an irritation of the eyelids. It is a common eye condition that is usually caused by bacteria or by skin conditions such as dandruff and acne rosacea. It is sometimes caused by allergies.
Blepharitis is a chronic (long-lasting) condition that comes and goes over time. Although blepharitis does not result in blindness, it can cause red, irritated eyes.
The symptoms of blepharitis include reddened, swollen, itchy eyelids and scaly eyelashes. As the scales become coarser, the surface of the eyelid becomes irritated and forms crusts, which may cause the lids to stick together when you wake up in the morning. If this crust falls into your eye, you may feel like you have "something in your eye," or your eye may feel gritty.
Blepharitis cannot be cured; however, it can be treated and controlled through proper eyelid hygiene. Left untreated, blepharitis can develop into a more serious condition such as scarring or injury to the eye's tissue.
If you have blepharitis, take the steps listed below to help treat and cleanse your eye:
There are many everyday steps that you can take to prevent blepharitis. These steps include:
If you are in the early stages of treating blepharitis, avoid the use of eye makeup to prevent further irritation. Once you begin using makeup again, replace any liquid products because your old products may be contaminated.
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 03/15/2016