Blepharitis is an inflammation of the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes and of the membrane covering the inside of the eyelid. Blepharitis can be caused by bacteria in the eyelid glands, on the eyelids, or on the skin around the eyes. Dandruff or oily skin can also cause blepharitis, and wearing contact lenses or makeup can make the symptoms worse.
Blepharitis is a common eye condition in older adults. Many millions of people have this common eye condition, and it very rarely causes any lasting effect on vision. You may have experienced some of these signs and symptoms:
Once you have this condition, it will tend to recur. Physicians do not have a cure for this condition, but it can be controlled, and we can help you to live more comfortably with its symptoms.
As your eyes become drier over the years, the oil glands at the base of your eyelashes become overactive and secrete excess amounts of oil. This causes irritation to your eyes and results in the symptoms listed above.
Although no cure exists, some over-the-counter (non-prescription) treatments may help relieve your symptoms:
If blepharitis is not treated promptly, it can lead to a cyst (an inflammation of an oil gland on the eyelid) or a stye (an infection at the base of an eyelash). You might try several combinations of treatments before finding a solution that works best for you. If these over-the-counter treatments do not ease the condition, your ophthalmologist may prescribe antibiotic drops and/or ointment for temporary use. Occasionally, patients need oral antibiotics for temporary use.
Please call Saddleback Eye Center if you need additional help.