Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is characterized by redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin and along the lash line. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. Blepharitis can be caused by various types of bacteria, and it may be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
There are various types of this condition. Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye. With it, you may see redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens nearer the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye. The posterior type can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids.
Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. In rare cases, ongoing treatment may be required to keep the eyes comfortable and symptom-free. Eyelid hygiene can help maintain eye comfort and appearance. Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and occasionally doing a soak or warm compress.
Dr. J.D. Ries and Dr. Renae Ries will diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam.