What Is Blepharitis?

Your eyes make it easy to navigate your environment. Otherwise, the experience would be complex. Thus, you need to take care of them. Blepharitis may seem like a simple condition, but it can lead to other complications. So, when it rears its ugly head, you must know how to deal with it. It starts by knowing what blepharitis is and how it affects your eyes.


What Is It?

Blepharitis is the inflammation of your eyelids. It happens when there is a clogging of the tiny oil glands near the eyelash base. It usually happens to both eyes and is the common cause of dry eyes. However, several conditions and diseases can cause blepharitis.

The condition can be chronic and difficult to treat. It can also make you uncomfortable due to its presenting symptoms. The good news is that it does not cause permanent damage to your eyes. It is also not contagious.


What Are the Symptoms?

It is helpful to note that the symptoms of blepharitis are more severe in the morning. These symptoms include:


  • Red eyes

  • Greasy eyelids

  • Itchy eyelids

  • Watery eyes

  • Stinging or burning sensation in the eyes

  • Swollen eyelids

  • Crusty eyelashes

  • Sticking of the eyelids

  • Flaky skin around the eyes

  • Light sensitivity

  • Blinking more often

  • Blurry vision. It improves with blinking



The primary cause of blepharitis is bacteria. Everyone has some on their skin. However, some people have more on the base of their eyelashes than others. It causes the skin to flake and forms dandruff on the lashes. 

Sometimes, these bacteria may cause problems with the oil glands at the base of these eyelashes. The result is blepharitis. The condition may worsen and lead to the overpopulation of Demodex. These microscopic mites live inside the eyelash follicles. 


Other Complications

Blepharitis can lead to several complications. These include:


  • Eyelid skin problems: In the long run, blepharitis can cause eyelid scarring on your eyelids. It can also cause them to turn outward or inward

  • Eyelash issues: The condition can cause your eyelashes to fall out. It can result in abnormal or misdirected growth. It may also cause your eyelashes to lose color

  • Chalazion: These occur due to the blockage of oil glands. They cause the eyelid to swell and redden. Sometimes, they may form hard, non-tender bumps or resolve themselves

  • Stye: These are infections that form near the eyelash base. They present as painful lumps on the edge of the eyelid

  • Excessive tearing

  • Dry eyes

  • Corneal injuries

  • Chronic pink eye


How Do You Keep It Under Control?


Keep blepharitis under control by cleaning your hair, skin, and eyelids. You can dilute baby shampoo in warm water to clean your eyelids when you notice crusting. Eyelid scrubs and warm compresses also work well.

You will also find relief from eating food rich in omega-3 oils. These include fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Some nuts also contain these oils, or you can get supplements from the store. Visit a doctor immediately when you notice the situation is not getting better or it is worsening.


For more about blepharitis or to seek treatment, contact Eye Care Center at our Fridley, Maplewood, or Maple Grove, Minnesota offices. Call (763) 308-8440, (651) 777-3555, or (763) 420-6981 to schedule an appointment today.

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