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Blepharitis Causes

Blepharitis is a chronic condition that can affect the outer portion of the eyelid where the eyelashes attach or the inner portion of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eye. Some conditions associated with blepharitis include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows), a bacterial infection, malfunctioning oil glands in the eyelid and rosacea, a skin condition characterized by facial redness Blepharitis may also be caused by a combination of factors. Less commonly, blepharitis may be caused by allergies or even an infestation of lice on the eyelashes.

Blepharitis Definition

Blepharitis is the inflammation of the one's eyelids. It is characterized by inflammation of the margins of the eyelid. Blepharitis generally causes redness of the eyes and itching and irritation of the eyelids in both eyes. Its appearance is often confused with conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and due to its recurring nature it is the most common cause of "recurrent conjunctivitis" in aging people. It is also often treated as 'dry eye' by patients due to the gritty and sandy sensation it may give the eyes - although lubricating drops do little to improve the condition. The two types of blepharitis are anterior blepharitis and posterior blepharitis. In the former, the blepharitis affects the front of the eyelids near the eyelashes. The causes are seborrheic dermatitis (which similar to dandruff) and occasional infection by the bacteria Staphylococcus. The latter affects the back of the eyelids, the part that has contact with the eyes. This is caused by the oil glands that are situated in this region. It is the most common type of blepharitis.

Blepharitis Symptoms and Signs

Regardless of the type of blepharitis an individual has, he or she will most likely develop symptoms such as eye irritation, burning, tearing, foreign body sensation, dryness, and red eyelid margins. Crusty debris (in the lashes, in the corner of the eyes or on the lids) will also most likely develop as a symptom. It is important to see an eye doctor and get treatment for blepharitis. If the blepharitis is bacterial, possible long-term effects are dilated and visible capillaries, thickened lid margins, eyelash loss, trichiasis, ectropion and entropion. The lower third of the cornea may also exhibit significant erosion.

Blepharitis Treatment

Blepharitis can be a difficult disease to treat. Good hygiene, such as regular cleaning of the area, can control signs and symptoms and prevent complications from developing. If the patient's condition doesn't improve, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream or ointment. In severe cases, eyedrops containing antibiotics and steroids may be administered. If the blepharitis is linked to an underlying cause such as dandruff or rosacea, treating those conditions may alleviate the disease.

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