Blepharitis: Inflammation of the Eyelid

While there is no cure for blepharitis, Broberg Eye Care in Austin, TX, can treat the symptoms that patients often experience. Our doctors will review your symptoms and determine whether you have blepharitis. If you do, your practitioner will teach you the most effective methods of managing the condition and alleviating pain through proper hygienic care of the eyelid and surrounding tissue. Your doctor may also prescribe soothing antibiotic or steroidal ointments, eyedrops, or creams.

Types of Blepharitis

There are two types of blepharitis: anterior blepharitis affects the area where the eyelashes attach to the outer part of the eyelid, and is usually caused by a bacterial infection or allergies. The second type, posterior blepharitis, affects the inner part of the eyelid that touches the eye, and occurs when the glands that produce eye-lubricating oils are not functioning properly. Patients may suffer from both types of blepharitis simultaneously.

Image of patient with blepharitis

We can teach you simple techniques to alleviate symptoms of blepharitis.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Blepharitis has many symptoms, some of which may indicate other problems with the eyes. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, gently cleanse the affected area with warm water. If symptoms persist, contact us. Blepharitis symptoms may include:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • A burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, or the feeling of a foreign object in the eye
  • Red, itchy, or swollen eyelids 
  • Eyelids sticking shut
  • Crusty eyelashes upon waking
  • Flaky skin around the eyes
  • Frequent blinking, possibly due to increased sensitivity to light
  • Missing eyelashes, or lashes that grow in at irregular angles

It is important to contact your doctor if symptoms persist in order to avoid complications such as:

  • Styes - Red, sore bumps on the eyelid often caused by an infected lash follicle
  • Chalazion - A lump, often painless, that forms when an eyelid oil gland becomes blocked
  • Corneal Infection

Causes of Blepharitis

While studies have yet to determine the exact cause of blepharitis, doctors believe that several factors may be associated with the condition, including:

  • Allergies, including allergies to eye makeup or contact lens solution
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Malfunctioning or blocked oil glands in the eyelids
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)
  • Rosacea
  • Lice or eyelash mites

Treating Blepharitis

Treating blepharitis begins with a visit to Broberg Eye Care. Your doctor will examine your eyes and eyelids to look for signs of the disease. He may use a cotton swab to take samples of crust or oil discharge on your eyelids, and he can test these samples for bacteria and signs of allergies.

Although blepharitis can be persistent, with the help of our doctors you can relieve the symptoms and learn how to best care for your eyes.

While there is no cure for blepharitis and the condition is often recurrent, most patients find that carefully cleansing the tissue surrounding the eyes and applying a warm compress (such as a cloth soaked in warm water) will help alleviate symptoms. Your doctor may also recommend an over-the-counter eye flushing solution.

For patients with more severe cases of blepharitis involving bacterial infections of the eyelids, the doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic. Topical antibiotics may come in the form of ointments, eye drops, or creams. If eyelids are inflamed, the doctor may also prescribe steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation.

Schedule a Consultation

Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Although blepharitis can be persistent, with the help of our doctors you can relieve the symptoms and learn how to best care for your eyes.

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