Blepharitis - Eyelid Inflammation

Blepharitis symptoms

Blepharitis refers to the inflammation of the eyelid margin and eyelash area. Often there is associated gunk and crusting along the eyelind margin.

Blepharitis is not normally serious nor is it a threat to vision, but it can lead to annoying dry eye symptoms and on-going irritation if left untreated.

Symptoms of blepharitis can include:

  • gunk and crusting along the eyelash margins
  • itchy eyes
  • eyelids stuck together on waking in the morning
  • redness of the eyes or eyelid margins
  • dry eye symptoms

Blepharitis treatment


It is difficult to completely cure Blepharitis, normally on-going management is required, with more or less treatment depending on level of symptoms.

Causes of blepharitis are thought to include blocking of glands in the lid margin, which maybe made worse by inflammation from normal skin bacteria and sometimes the skin bug known as Demodex which can infect lash follicles. This is why treatment normally focuses on improving flow from lid glands as well as anti-microbial treatments. Many treatments contrain tea-tree oil which has a known impact on Demodex mites.

Lid cleanser FOAMS / anti-microbial

Foams are rubbed into the eye lashes with eyes closed. Leave for 60 seconds then rinse off.

Lid cleanser WIPES / anti-microbial

Wipes are rubbed across the eyelash area, again with eyes closed. Rinse off after 60 seconds.

Hot eyelid compress

This can be done using hot facecloth(flannel) held against the closed eye for about 2 minutes. Ideally do this twice per day. Microwave Oven Heat packs can make this easier to do.

Anti-microbial eye drops

Anti-microbial eye drops and ointment can help reduce inflammation from bugs infecting the eyelid glands and eye lashes. These do sting, and the gel should really be kept only on the eyelashes not in the eye.

Lubricant eye drops - Preservative free

Lubricant drops can help bring some temporary relief from irritation. Preservative free is best as with long term use sometimes preservatives can act as an additional irritant for the inflamed eyelids.

None of these treatments for blepharitis are a cure and on-going maintenance treatment is required for most people. The amount and frequency of the treatment is normally proportional to how bad your blepharitis problem is.

For more help or information on Blepharitis please get in touch or contact your regular eye doctor or optometrist.

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