Blepharitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the eyelids. Blepharitis is a common condition that causes an inflammation of the eyelids. The causes of the condition are related to oil secretions from the eyelids, and bacterial, viral, chlamydial or fungal organisms. Most commonly it is due to inflammation associated with skin problems or systemic disorders. It is common in children and adults. Patients who suffer from blepharitis suffer from redness, burning, itching, swollen or crusty eyelids. Maintaining clean eyelids can help eliminate these symptoms, but if that does not work, antibiotic drops and ointments can be prescribed to control the condition.
The doctor will evaluate your eyelids and eyes to determine what is causing the blepharitis. A sample may be taken from the lining of the eyelids, and the secretions from the oil (meibomian) glands to test to if there is an infection.
The main treatment for blepharitis is lid hygiene. Doctors suggest applying a warm washcloth to your eyelids for 5 minutes before going to sleep and 5 minutes when you wake up. The heat will help to dissolve the secretions. Cleansing the eyelashes and edge of the eyelids with diluted baby shampoo is also recommended. There are several commercial eyelid cleansers available over the counter and a number of ointments and eye drops that can also be used to help reduce infection and inflammation.