Blepharitis Treatments And Causes

Blepharitis Treatments And Causes

Blepharitis is a common skin condition that makes your eyelids red, irritated, itchy, and swollen. It does not cause serious damage to the eyes or pose the risk of affecting your vision, however, it can be extremely uncomfortable. It tends to be a long-term condition meaning you will require ongoing treatment. The condition is more commonly referred to as eyelid inflammation and is usually treated with over-the-counter remedies, but severe cases of blepharitis may require prescription medications. It usually affects both eyes along the edges of the eyelids. This article will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for blepharitis.

Causes Of Blepharitis

Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, causing irritation, swelling, and redness. It is often a chronic condition that is difficult to treat, but it does not cause permanent damage to your eyesight and is not contagious. Causes of blepharitis include:

Infection: Everyone has bacteria living on their skin and eyelashes. Normal levels of bacteria are safe and do not cause any harm, however, too much bacteria can become a problem. When there is an overgrowth of bacteria at the base of the eyelashes, dandruff-like flakes can form and irritate the eyelid skin.

Eyelash Mites: An eyelash mite called Demodex is a common cause of blepharitis in older adults. The parasites are normally found at the base of the eyelashes and do not cause harm. However, when the mites begin to build up at the base of the eyelashes, they can irritate the surrounding skin causing redness, irritation, and swelling. 

Poor Hygiene: If the eyelashes are not washed often, the bacteria living on the skin and lashes can begin to multiply. This leads to an overgrowth of bacteria causing irritation and redness. Poor hygiene is a common cause of blepharitis in children and teenagers. 

Certain Skin Conditions: Skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis can cause blepharitis.

Symptoms Of Blepharitis

Common symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Burning, stinging, watery eyes
  • Itchy eyelids
  • Red eyes
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Flaking of the skin surrounding the eyelids
  • Crusty eyelashes
  • Sticky eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, visit your optometrist as soon as possible to begin treatment to relieve your eyes of irritation and discomfort.

Treatment For Blepharitis

Unfortunately, there is no cure for blepharitis, however, there are ways to manage and treat it with different treatment options such as:

  • Warm compresses
  • Eyelid scrubs
  • Over-the-counter blepharitis treatment products
  • Regularly cleaning the crust on the eyelids and in between the lashes
  • Prescription medications for severe cases

Your optometrist will be able to advise you on where you can buy the over-the-counter products to help treat the root cause of blepharitis and chronic infections. Treatment of blepharitis is a long-term process and it may take weeks to see improvement. 

Contact Us Today!

Although blepharitis does not affect your eyesight or lead to vision problems, it can be very irritating making it difficult to see comfortably. There is no cure for blepharitis, however, there are treatments that help reduce symptoms to allow you to be rid of the crusty flakes and irritation. Visit your eye doctor if you suspect that you may have blepharitis . Your optometrist will be able to assess the cause and provide an effective treatment plan. 

Specs in the City is located on the ground level of the newly developed Meadows Mile Professional Building in SE Calgary facing Blackfoot Trail. Our optometry clinic can help you rule out any disease or eye conditions and develop treatment options to relieve your aggravating symptoms and help you see clearly. If you are interested in blepharitis treatment options, contact our SE Calgary optometrists to book an eye exam with us today!


Q: Can blepharitis cause vision problems?
A: Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and unsightly, however, it does not cause permanent damage to your eyesight. 

Q: How often should I visit the eye doctor?
A: You should visit your eye doctor at least once every two years if you are over the age of 18. Adults aged 65+ should visit their eye doctor annually. 

Q: How can I prevent blepharitis?
A: You can prevent blepharitis by regularly cleaning your eyelids with warm compresses, removing eye makeup at the end of the day, and by avoiding wearing eyeliner and mascara products. 


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