Blepharitis: causes, symptoms and treatment


Blepharitis is a pathology that consists of inflammation of the free edge of the eyelid. It is necessary to treat it correctly to avoid complications.

Blepharitis is defined as inflammation of the edge of the eyelid. It is important to remember that on the edge of the eyelid there are several glands responsible for secreting substances. Some of these glands produce fat and are known as Meibomian glands, whose dysfunction is the most frequent cause of blepharitis.

When the Meibomian glands become clogged, the proper drainage of secretions cannot be carried out and typical skin bacteria proliferate.

As a general rule, it affects both eyelids of the patient, especially in the region where the eyelashes are born. This is because it is the most frequent location of the Meibomian glands.

Currently, blepharitis is one of the most common visual disturbances. It also affects males and females equally. On the other hand, it can appear during any period of the patient’s life.

What are the most common symptoms of blepharitis?

Generally, patients with this disorder develop a series of characteristic signs. For example, among the most common symptoms we can highlight:

  • Photosensitivity or sensitivity to light.
  • Red eyes and constant tearing. Likewise, the individual may show dry eyes due to the alterations to keep the eyeball hydrated.
  • Swelling in the eyelids. They also tend to take on a reddish hue and a greasy texture.
  • Frequent blinking accompanied by burning or discomfort. The patient describes this feeling as if he had sand in his eyes.

Other quite common symptoms include:

  • Alterations in the eyelashes. As a general rule, there is a loss of eyelashes or they are born in the wrong direction (deviated eyelashes).
  • Dry, flaky skin around the eyes and on the eyelids. If the problem persists over time, long-term scarring may form.
  • Presence of hard legañas in the form of a crust in the morning.
  • Stye. It is a lump that is located in the birth area of ​​the eyelashes. It is usually the result of an infection in the area and causes discomfort in the subject.
  • Chalazion. When the sebaceous glands become infected, a lump forms that comprises both the outer and inner part of the eyelid. In this case, the result is inflammation of the eyelid and it usually has a reddish hue.
  • Regular or chronic conjunctivitis.
  • Corneal problems resulting from irritation of this layer or other resulting injuries.

What are the possible causes of blepharitis?

Why do styes come out?

Currently, the medical team has not been able to identify the exact cause of this disorder. However, specialists affirm that there are a series of factors or triggers of blepharitis. In this way, the most frequent causes are:

  • Obstruction of the sebaceous glands of the eyelids. This alteration is usually due to a bacterial infection. It is also possible that it is not working properly for unknown reasons.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis or other skin disorders such as rosacea.
  • Presence of mites, lice or other living beings on the eyelashes that can damage this region.
  • Allergic reactions to eye compounds, such as medications, makeup, etc.

What is the most appropriate treatment against blepharitis?

First of all, the diagnosis of blepharitis will be made (the medical team will use a series of medical tests for this). Next, the specialists will study the most appropriate treatment options for each patient. Among the most used therapeutic methods are:

  • Treatment of the underlying disorder. This is the case of rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Antibiotic medications to treat bacterial infection in the sebaceous glands. They are normally applied locally (through drops or creams). They can also be administered orally.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling in the eyes. They are in the form of drops or ointments.
  • Use of artificial tears in the case of dry eyes.
  • Antihistamines if the trigger is an allergy.

Another important treatment involves personal care. It is done two to four times a day and consists of the following steps:

  • Place a wet compress or gauze on the eyelids for a few minutes. In this way, the crusts come off easily when removed with a new damp cloth.
  • Clean the edge of the eyelid by gently rubbing with another compress with water.
  • Rinse abundantly with lukewarm water. Finally, to dry the area properly, gently pat it with a clean towel.

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