What causes blepharitis?
Blepharitis is caused by inflammation of the eyelids, but there can be different reasons as to why the inflammation happens.
Sometimes it can be caused by a skin condition, such as eczema, rosacea or dandruff. But sometimes it can be caused by bacterial infections, like staphylococcus (a bacteria that lives on your skin in very small numbers, which doesn’t usually cause you any harm). Occasionally staphylococcus causes other skin infections, like impetigo, but when it gets into your eyelids it can cause blepharitis.
One of the other main causes is tiny mites called demodex that live on our skin and hairline, which can sometimes get together and multiply. When they do, they can cause infections like blepharitis when they get into your eyelashes.
What are the symptoms of blepharitis?
Usually both of your eyes are affected by blepharitis, and the main symptom is often sore eyelids. Some other common symptoms include:
- a burning sensation in your eyes
- a gritty feeling in your eyes
- itchy eyes
- a greasy or oily appearance to your eyes
- a sticky discharge in your eyes, which might be worse in the morning
- flaky or scaly patches of skin on your eyelids
- a crust that develops at the base of your eyelashes
- blocked glands in your eyelids that produce an oily looking discharge
Can blepharitis lead to other problems?
If you have blepharitis, you might be more likely to develop other eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.
If blepharitis is left untreated or becomes chronic it can occasionally lead to other problems, such as the loss of your eyelashes, the tearing of your corneas or scarring of your eyelids.
If you think you have symptoms of blepharitis, it’s important to get it checked and treated as soon as possible, so have a chat with our clinician if you need any help or advice.