DefinitionBlepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid. It is a very common eye disease that affects the edge of the eyelids and eyelash hair follicles.There are 3 main types of blepharitis:
- Seborrheic blepharitis—Skin cells shed more rapidly than normal due to a sebaceous gland that is not functioning properly. The sebaceous gland secretes oil to the skin. The presence of excess oil and skin cells help bacteria grow.
- Infectious blepharitis—Bacteria, in particular, staphylococcus, cause an infection in the glands along the eyelid.
- Contact dermatitis blepharitis—Something coming in contact with the eyelid leads to local inflammation. For example, mascara may produce such an allergic reaction.
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CausesThe primary types of blepharitis are caused by either a skin condition or a bacterial infection. Blepharitis often occurs along with seborrheic dermatitis and acne rosacea .
Risk FactorsFactors that may increase your chance of blepharitis include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis
- Acne rosacea
- Contact allergies
- Chemical irritants
- Poor hygiene
- Cosmetic makeup
- Advanced age
SymptomsSymptoms depend on the cause of the blepharitis. They are usually worse in the morning and involve both eyes.Blepharitis may cause:
- Redness, flaky skin, and oily secretions along the edge of the eyelid
- Crusty material clinging to the eyelashes
- Eyelids “glued together” in the morning
- Dry scales or dandruff-type material on the scalp and eyebrows
- Itching or burning sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Sensation of a foreign object in the eye
- Ulcers or sores at the base of the eyelashes (in severe cases)
- Scant, broken eyelashes
- Nonpainful bumps in the eyelid— chalazion , which may become infected (stye)
- Irritation or infection of issue that covers the eye and lines the inner surface of the eyelid— conjunctivitis (pink eye)
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