Blepharitis is a common eyelid inflammation that sometimes is associated with a bacterial eye infection, symptoms of dry eyes or certain types of skin conditions such as acne rosacea.

Blepharitis has two basic forms:

  • Anterior blepharitis – affecting the outside front of the eyelid where eyelashes are attached.
  • Posterior blepharitis – linked to dysfunction of Meibomian glands within the eyelids that secrete oils to help lubricate the eye.

It’s common to have a mixture of both anterior and posterior forms of blepharitis at the same time, but in different degrees of severity.

Here are different types of blepharitis and clues on which type you may have:

  • Staphylococcal blepharitis – frequently associated with mildly sticking eyelids, thickened lid margins, and missing and misdirected eyelashes.
  • Seborrheic blepharitis – frequently associated with greasy flakes or scales around the base of eyelashes and a mild redness of the eyelids.
  • Ulcerative blepharitis – frequently associated with matted, hard crusts around the eyelashes. Removing the crusts leaves small sores that ooze and bleed. You may also experience eyelash loss, distortion of the front edges of the eyelids and chronic tearing. In severe cases, your cornea (the transparent front covering of the eyeball) becomes inflamed.
  • Meibomian blepharitis – associated with blockage of the oil glands in the eyelids, poor quality of tears and redness of the lining of the eyelids.

Signs and Symptoms You May Have Blepharitis Include…

  • Gritty or burning sensation in your eyes
  • Excessive tearing, itching, red and swollen eyelids
  • Dry eyes or crusting of the eyelids
  • Blurring of vision
  • Missing or misdirected eyelashes
  • In chronic cases, inflammation of the cornea

Why Should You Be Concerned?

If you have clogged up Meibomian glands, this may not only cause dry eyes but may also create a favourable environment for bacteria to grow. Both dry eyes and blepharitis can be very irritating if no intervention is given.

When bacteria in your eyelids become excessive or when your eyelid area reacts poorly to their presence, this may cause an eyelid infection that may lead to further eye infections like conjunctivitis or pink eye.

Over time, bacteria in the eyelids multiply and create a structure called a biofilm, a toxic environment kind of like the plaque that forms on your teeth. Parasitic eyelash mites called Demodex feed on the biofilm and multiply, making the eyelid inflammation worse.

Blepharitis seldom disappears completely. Even with successful treatment, blepharitis may recur. That’s why it is important that an experienced eyecare professional is involved in the management of your blepharitis.

How Can We Help?

Comprehensive Eye Test

Our optometrists may determine if you have blepharitis through a comprehensive eye test which includes checking your eyelid structure, skin texture and eyelash appearance, with special emphasis on the eyelids and front surface of your eyeball.

Meibomian Gland Function Check

Our optometrists will thoroughly evaluate your eyelid margins, the base of your eyelashes and Meibomian gland openings to check for clogged glands under bright light with magnification.

Discussion on Health and Lifestyle

Our optometrists will sit down with you to talk about health history to see whether there are general health problems that may be contributing to your eye problem, as well as habits that may have helped cause your blepharitis.

Treatment and Management

Some blepharitis cases may require more complex treatment plans. Our optometrists will talk with your about the best treatment for your unique case and may refer you to an eye doctor if needed and closely work with them to successfully manage your blepharitis.

Are your eyelids crusty, flaky, inflamed and you’re suspecting blepharitis? Book in today for a professional assessment.

Menu