Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. Redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin characterize it. Symptoms include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes. The disease can be caused by various bacteria and be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have flare ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.
Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye and features symptoms such as redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens nearer the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye, and can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids.
Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and occasionally doing a soak or warm compress.
Dr. Garwood will diagnose the specific type of blepharitis during an eye exam. Treatment options are abundant and include over the counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. Blepharitis, in some cases, requires ongoing treatment along with eyelid hygiene to maintain eye comfort and appearance.