Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, a common eye condition which affects both eyes.
It usually occurs on the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow, and as a result, eyelids will feel itchy and have a reddish-pink appearance. The condition is most often the result of oil glands at the base of the eyelashes becoming blocked or bacterial infections. Alternatively, in some cases, it is the result of allergies.
Blepharitis isn’t contagious; however, it is a chronic condition that causes discomfort. While treatment for blepharitis is not simple, the situation is not severe enough to cause vision loss.
The leading cause of blepharitis is unclear; however, possible threats include:
- Parasitic infections-such as eyelash mites
- Herpes simplex dermatitis
- Contact dermatitis
These are just a few of the conditions that can lead to blepharitis.
This type causes the base of your lashes to become inflamed and is the result of one of two things: staphylococcus bacteria or seborrhoeic dermatitis.
The Meibomian glands sit behind the base of your lashes, along the lid margins of the eyes. Posterior blepharitis affects the Meibomian organs due to inflammation, usually by debris and skin flakes, causing a blockage.
Mixed blepharitis is a combination of both anterior and posterior blepharitis.
Blepharitis cannot cause blindness; however, it can lead to other problems if not treated. Such issues can include the following:
In more severe cases of blepharitis, you may experience your eyelashes growing in different directions or falling out altogether.
Oily secretions and flaking can build up in your tear film and interfere with the natural lubrication of your eyes, causing dry eyes and excessive tearing as a result.
Problems wearing contact lenses
You might find wearing contact lenses uncomfortable due to dry eyes caused by blepharitis.
Blepharitis can lead to conjunctivitis or pink eye reoccurring regularly.
Skin problems on the Eyelids
Long-term blepharitis can cause the edges of the eyelid to turn inwards or outwards. Scarring on the eyelid can also result from the condition.
Styes are infections that develop at the base of the lashes and result in painful, visible lumps on the eyelid.
A chalazion is a small lump that develops inside of the eyelid as a result of the meibomian gland getting blocked.
Injury to the cornea
Blepharitis can sometimes spread to the cornea, causing corneal infections and ulcers to develop.