Blepharitis is essentially, inflammation of the eyelid area. It usually affects the edges and the corners of your eyelids. It results in your eyes becoming irritated, itchy and appearing red and is caused by a skin infection or ineffective eye moisture control, which makes dandruff like flakes form on your eyelashes.
Although frequently irritating and sometimes painful, Blepharitis very rarely leads to actual damage of a person’s eyesight. Blepharitis is caused primarily by bacterial infections or skin conditions. Because it’s a chronic condition, it means once you have contracted it, it’s likely you will encounter repeated experiences of such symptoms. Despite there being no indefinite cure, there are treatments available to deter it.
Blepharitis is the cause of roughly 5% of all eye problems reported to GP’s. Although it most commonly affects elderly people, it can develop in anyone regardless of age. Some complications, which can develop as a result of Blepharitis include dry eye syndrome, whereby the eye is incapable of producing sufficient amount of tears, or dry out very quickly. Normally it is not a serious condition, and sight loss and complications are rare.
Because Blepharitis is a recurring condition, it is possible for you to go long periods of time without encountering any symptoms. However, there are a number of symptoms you can look out for. Firstly, the exterior appearance of the eye can be checked. The eyelids will become itchy and sore and they may even begin to stick together. The eyelid will become red and inflamed and greasy to the touch. The symptoms of Blepharitis are usually worse in the morning, so you may have difficulty opening your eyes when you wakeup. Your eyelashes will also appear different, sometimes they may grow abnormally or fall out altogether. Eyelashes will also start to feel crusty and dandruff like flakes will appear on the eyelids.
In the inside of your eye, you may start to feel a gritty burning sensation. In addition to this, your eyes will become increasingly sensitive to light. This is called photophobia, and it will cause mild pain or discomfort. Blepharitis affects both eyes, and if you experience any of the conditions, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible. If you suffer from meibomian blepharitis, some of the tiny glands within the eyelid may become blocked and an oily fluid will form upon the surface. This can also be directly attributed to dry eye syndrome.