👀 Free Shipping on Orders Over $50 👀


Your Cart is Empty

Anterior Blepharitis: What it is and How to Treat it

January 26, 2018 2 min read

Anterior Blepharitis Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Anterior Blepharitis Definition

According to the American Optometric Association, blepharitis is “an inflammation of the eyelids in which they become red, irritated and itchy with dandruff like scales form on the eyelids’.  More specifically, anterior blepharitis “occurs at the outside front edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes attach”.  

Blepharitis is not contagious and can affect anyone at any age.  However, it can be more common in those with underlying skin conditions such as rosacea, atopy, and seborrheic dermatitis.  As well, it can affect those with underlying eye conditions such as dry eyes, ectropion and entropion, infectious and inflammatory conjunctivitis, and chalazia or styes.

Anterior Blepharitis: What it is and How to Treat it

Anterior Blepharitis Causes

The two common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria (usually Staphylococcus aureus) and scalp or eyebrow dandruff.  

Bacteria living on the face and eyelids can over-populate, causing the eyes and eyelids to react negatively.

Other causes include allergies and eyelid mites, or demodex.

Anterior Blepharitis Symptoms

Symptoms of anterior blepharitis include:

  • A foreign body sensation (something in the eye)
  • Grittiness
  • Burning
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itching
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Red and swollen eyelids
  • Blurry vision
  • Eyelash loss
  • Dry eye
  • Crusty eyelashes

How is it Diagnosed?

Your eye doctor is the best place to get a diagnosis. They will diagnose you through patient history, a comprehensive examination of the front of your eyes and eyelids, including examining the eyelid structure, looking at your tears, and testing the oily secretions on your eyelids. There are a few different types of blepharitis that can be diagnosed:

  • Staphyloccal blepharitis: mildly sticking eyelids, thickened lid margins, eyelash loss, eyelashes in random directions
  • Seborrheic blepharitis: more of a greasy flaking or scales at the eyelash base, red and swollen eyelids
  • Ulcerative blepharitis:  presence of hard, matted crusted eyelashes and removing these causes bleeding.  May experience excessive tearing.  
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction/posterior blepharitis:  oil glands inside the eyelids are blocked.  Lack of tear production, redness and swelling of the eyelids.

Anterior Blepharitis Treatment

Anterior Blepharitis Treatment

For treating anterior blepharitis there are a series of measures that can be taken:

  • Keep your hands and face clean
  • Keep your eyelids clean with a hypochlorous acid cleanser
  • Loosen debris around the eye with awarm compress
  • Massage the area around the eye to loosen the oil that is clogging the glands
  • Tea-tree oil based shampoo for the scalp
  • Possibly discontinuing makeup and contact lens use if symptoms persist

Prescription medications for more serious cases may include

  • Antibiotic eye drops, eye gel, or eye ointment such as Azithromycin drops and Erythromycin ointment
  • An antibiotic oral prescription such as Doxycycline
  • Steroid eye drops for reducing inflammation

Unfortunately, there is no cure for blepharitis because it is a chronic condition. However, by following the measures mentioned above, you can reduce the symptoms that could interfere with your daily activities.  

Click here to see the products I use in my clinic and purchase them on Amazon.

One Love,

Dr. Travis Zigler, Eye Love

Dr. Travis Zigler

SeeEO of Eye Love

1 Response


April 23, 2018

Thank you so much for the video. You gave so much detail and great ideas to help. I was just diagnosed with this a couple days ago and I wish she would of explaned it like you just did!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.