Blepharitis involves inflammation of the borders of the eyelids. In some cases, the swelling can also occur with crust formation, thickening scales and shallow ulcers.
- Conditions that can cause blepharitis include bacterial infection usually staphylococcal in origin involving the eyelids or the ducts of the deeper glands that open at the borders of the eyelids, allergic reactions and some viral infections.
- Skin conditions such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis that affect the face including the eyelids can lead to inflammation.
- A blocked, inflamed oil gland at the edge of the eyelid due to rosacea is also another cause.
- Certain eye drops that can instigate allergic reactions
What are the indications of blepharitis?
Blepharitis can cause a sensation that there is something in the eye. The eyes and eyelids can become itchy along with a burning sensation while the edges of the eyelids turn red. The eyes might also become watery and sensitive to sources of light.
In certain types of blepharitis such as those caused by a bacterial infection, the eyelids can swell while the eyelashes might turn white or even fall out. Oftentimes, small-sized abscesses that contain pus develop in the sacs at the base of the eyelashes which later on form into shallow ulcers.
There is also the formation of crusts on the edges of the eyelids that can stick stubbornly. If the crust is removed, the surface might bleed. When an individual sleep at night, the secretions dry up which makes the eyelids stick to one another.
Most forms of blepharitis have a tendency to recur and even resist treatment. Even though the condition is inconvenient and unattractive, it does not usually damage the cornea or result to vision loss. Occasionally, the ulcerative type can result to scarring of the eyelid margins, loss of eyelashes and inflammation of the cornea in rare cases.
How is it diagnosed
A diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms and the appearance of the eyelids. The doctor might utilize a slit lamp to assess the eyelids closely.
In some instances, a sample of material is taken from the borders of the eyelids and cultured in a laboratory to pinpoint the type of bacteria responsible for the infection as well as determine how sensitive it is to the commonly used antibiotics.