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Blepharitis – Symptoms, causes and other complications


When you have an inflammation of the eyelids, then you have blepharitis. This condition is affecting the parts of your eyelids where your eyelashes are growing and usually is affecting the both eyelids. When the tiny oil glands which are located near the base of your eyelashes are becoming clogged, then you have blepharitis. When you have blepharitis, then you have red and irritated eyes. There are some conditions and diseases which are reason for a blepharitis. This is a chronic condition which is very hard for treating. When people are suffering from this condition, then they are feeling uncomfortable. Also this is unsightly condition. In many cases this condition is not causing you permanent damage to your eyesight and what is most important is the fact that this disease is not contagious.

Symptoms of blepharitis

Here are the signs and symptoms of this disease:

  • Red eyes
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Watery eyes
  • Eyelid sticking
  • Flaking of the skin around the eyes
  • Itchy eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light
  • A burning, stinging or gritty sensation in the eyes
  • More frequent blinking
  • Eyelashes that grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes)
  • Eyelids that appear greasy
  • Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
  • Swollen and red eyelids


If you have some of the mentioned signs and symptoms and you are constantly having a good hygiene (you are taking care of the affected areas) and you not see improvements, then you must talk with your doctor about your condition. You should write about all symptoms that you are feeling and tell them to your doctor. Also you should answer honestly to all questions which your doctor will ask you regarding this disease.

Causes for a blepharitis: There are many studies which are done about this condition and still the real cause for it is not known. Here are some factors which can lead to blepharitis:

  • Lice or eyelash mites
  • Sebhorrheic dermatitis – dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows [1,2]
  • Also allergies can be a reason for blepharitis. Here we can include allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup [4]
  • A bacterial infection
  • Rosacea – a skin condition characterized by facial redness [1]
  • Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands in your eyelids

Complications: People who are suffering from blepharitis also can have other problems such as

  • Sty: When you have an infection which is developing near the base of your eyelashes, then you have sty. On the edge of your eyelid you have a painful lump. Usually this lump is on the outside part of your eyelid. This kind of infection is most visible on the surface of your eyelids. [3]
  • Injury to the cornea: When you have misdirected eyelashes or constant irritation from inflamed eyelids, then these conditions can cause ulcer (sore) in the cornea which is developing. When you have not enough tearing, then you are having increased risk of getting a corneal infection.
  • Chronic pink eye: When you have blepharitis, then you can have pink eyes.
  • Chalazion: When you have a blockage in one of the small glands at the margin of your eyelids (which are located behind your eyelashes), then you have a condition which is known as chalazion. When you have a chalazion, then your gland is becoming infected which is causing you a swollen and red eyelid. This condition is similar to sty because both of them are appearing in the inside of eyelid in most cases.
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses: When people are having blepharitis, then this condition can cause them problems with wearing lenses because the blepharitis is affecting the amount of lubrication in your eyes. [4]
  • Eyelid skin problems: If you have long – term blepharitis, then you can have scarring on your eyelids. Also when you have long –term blepharitis you can have inward or outward eyelids.
  • Eyelash problems: When you have blepharitis, then you can have problems with your eyelashes because they are falling out or they are not growing normally (when they grow abnormally is a condition which is known as misdirected eyelashes). [5]
  • Excess tearing or dry eyes: When you have abnormal oily secretion or other debris shed from your eyelids such as flaking which is connected with dandruff are accumulating in your tears. Tears are formed from mucus solution, water and oil. When your tears are not normal, then they are causing problems to the normal tears and also they are affecting the healthy lubrication of the eyelids. When this is your case (blepharitis), then you can have some side effects such as excess tearing or dry eyes. [4]

These are some conditions of the blepharitis


[1] Putnam CM. Diagnosis and management of blepharitis: an optometrist’s perspective. Clinical Optometry. 2016;8:71–8.

[2] Borda LJ, Wikramanayake TC. Seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff: A comprehensive review. Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology. 2015;3(2):10.13188/2373-1044.1000019.

[3] Olsen TW. Blepharitis preferred practice pattern. American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2018. Retrieved from

[4] Markoulli M, Kolanu S. Contact lens wear and dry eyes: challenges and solutions. Clinical Optometry 2017;9:41–8.

[5] Amano Y, Sugimoto Y, Sugita M. Ocular disorders due to eyelash extensions. Cornea. 2012;31(2):121-5.

Hanan Marshal
Hanan Marshal
Hanan, a medical student (MBBS) having passion for writing and is very much interested in holistic living along with nature. He is very much interested in doing community service and watches anime and play PS4 during his free time. You can reach him through [email protected]


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