Please be patient! It may take up to ONE minute to load all the Engines.
Problems? Please contact our support.
Alternative namesEyelid inflammation
DefinitionBlepharitis is an inflammation of the lash follicles at the eyelid margins, caused by excess growth of bacteria normally present on the skin.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Blepharitis is usually caused by seborrheic dermatitis or a bacterial infection and sometimes it is a combination of both. Allergies and eyelash infestation with lice may also cause blepharitis, although these causes are less common.
This condition is characterized by excess oil production in the glands near the eyelid, which creates a favorable environment for the excess growth of bacteria that are normally present on the skin. The eyelids appear red and irritated, with scales that cling to the base of the eyelashes.
Blepharitis may be associated with repeated styes and chalazia . Risk factors are seborrheic dermatitis of the face or scalp, rosacea , lice, and allergies.
Signs and tests
An examination of the eyelids in the course of an eye examination is usually sufficient to diagnose blepharitis.
The primary treatment is careful daily cleansing of the lid margins to remove the skin oils that the bacteria feed on. Baby shampoo or special cleansers may be recommended by your health care provider. Antibiotic ointments may also be helpful in controlling bacteria on the lids.
If seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea are causing the problem, seek treatment for those conditions.
The probable outcome is good with treatment. Continued attention to lid hygiene may be required to prevent recurrence. Continued treatment will typically make the eyes less red and more comfortable.
Calling your health care provider
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve after careful cleansing of the eyelids for several days.
Cleaning eyelids carefully will help prevent blepharitis. If a specific skin condition is present, it should be treated.
Update Date: 11/5/2002Raymond S. Douglas M.D., Ph.D. Department of Ophthalmology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT