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.
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.
Symptoms of anterior blepharitis include:
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:
For treating anterior blepharitis there are a series of measures that can be taken:
Prescription medications for more serious cases may include
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.
Dr. Travis Zigler
SeeEO of Eye Love
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