What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a persistent inflammation of the eyelids. It is a common problem for both adults and children and may cause some swelling of the lid, itching, irritation or occasionally redness of the eye itself. The condition frequently occurs in those who have a tendency towards oily skin, dandruff or dry eyes.

What causes blepharitis?

Blepharitis can be caused by an infection, or as a complication of a skin condition, such as:

Seborrhoeic dermatitis
A condition that causes the skin to become oily or flaky

A condition that causes the face to appear red and blotchy

What help is available?

Blepharitis is usually a long-term condition. Most people experience repeated episodes, separated by periods without symptoms.

While it cannot usually be cured, a daily eyelid-cleaning routine that involves applying a warm compress – gently massaging your eyelids and wiping away any crusts – can help control the symptoms. Medicated wipes and solutions are very effective in controlling the condition.

More severe cases may require antibiotics that are either applied to the eye or eyelid directly, or taken as tablets. In isolated cases referral to an ophthalmologist for further tests and treatment may be required.

If you think you need help, contact your local Specsavers optician.