What is blepharitis?
Blepharitis is inflammation of one or both eyelids. Your eyelid, eyelashes, oil glands, or whites of the eye may be affected.
What causes blepharitis?
- Seborrheic dermatitis (red, scaly, itchy skin)
- Clogged oil glands
- Infection on your eyelid caused by bacteria
- Acne rosacea
What are the signs and symptoms of blepharitis?
- Burning and itching
- Redness of your eyelid or the whites of your eye
- Watery or dry eye
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
- Decreased vision or sensitivity to light
How is blepharitis diagnosed?
- A visual acuity test is used to check your vision and eye movements.
- A sample of skin or drainage may be sent to a lab to find the cause of your infection.
- A slit-lamp test is used to examine your eye with a microscope.
How is blepharitis treated?
Medicines can help decrease pain and swelling, or treat an infection.
How can I manage my symptoms?
Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after eye care:
- Use artificial tears twice a day if you have dry eye.
- Apply a warm compress for 10 minutes once a day to loosen crusts and to decrease itching and burning.
- Gently scrub your upper and lower eyelid with 2 to 3 drops of baby shampoo in ½ cup warm water 2 times a day. This will help open your clogged oil glands and remove pus or other material stuck to your eyelid.
- Massage your upper and lower eyelid in small circles for 5 seconds to loosen oil plugs and to decrease inflammation.
- Do not wear contact lenses or eye makeup until your eye has healed.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- Your vision changes.
- Your signs and symptoms get worse, even after treatment.
- Your signs and symptoms return.
- You have a lump on your eyelid.
- You have a pus-filled sore on your eyelid.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
When should I seek immediate care or call 911?
- You have severe pain.
- You have vision loss.
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