Blepharitis is a common eye disorder that causes red, irritated, itchy eyelids, as well as the formation of dandruff-like ‘scales’ on the eyelashes. It has many causes, the most common being bacteria, but it can also be the result of allergies, irregular oil production by the glands in the eyelids, or other skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and scalp dandruff. The condition can be very uncomfortable, but is not contagious and generally causes no permanent irreversible damage to vision.
Symptoms of blepharitis are many, and may include a gritty or burning sensation in the eyes, excessive tearing, eyelid redness, itchy eyelids, swollen eyelids, dry eyes, crusting of the eyelids, blurring of vision, missing or misdirected eyelashes, and inflammation of other eye tissue, particularly the cornea.
Treatment of blepharitis varies. In cases caused by bacteria, antibiotics are often prescribed, but good eyelid hygiene and regular cleaning helps control blepharitis from other sources. There are also things that you can do yourself to treat this condition, including warm compresses and gentle eyelid scrubs. Frequent scalp and face washing, using an anti-dandruff shampoo, and limiting use of eye makeup can also help. If you wear contacts, discontinuation of their use may also help alleviate your symptoms. If your blepharitis is linked to an underlying condition, such as allergies, rosacea or dandruff, then treating that condition will naturally help treat the blepharitis as well.