What is Blepharitis?

At John O’Connor eye care, we provide a wide range of optometry services, including the treatment of eye infections such as blepharitis.

  • Are your eyelids red, itchy, swollen or irritated?
  • Do you get flaky eyelid skin?
  • Do you get a sticky discharge along your eyelashes?
  • Are you losing your eyelashes?
  • Do you wake up with crusting along your eyelids?
  • Is your vision sometimes blurry between blinks?
  • Are your eyes watery?
  • Do your eyes sting or feel gritty?
  • Are your eyes sensitive to light?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have an ocular condition called blepharitis. This is a very common eye disorder that affects the area of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow.

It is characterised by inflammation of the edges of the eyelids. In most cases it also causes sore eyes, especially in the mornings. Your eyes may feel progressively better as the day goes on, but redness of the eyelids tends to persist throughout the day.

It is rare for blepharitis to affect only a single eye; it almost always affects both. It can be very uncomfortable, but it isn’t contagious and permanent damage to eyesight is rare. The disease is a chronic condition that is easy to treat, but difficult to cure.

Don’t Confuse Other Eye Disorders For Blepharitis

Due to its recurring nature, many people often confuse blepharitis with conjunctivitis. Symptoms do overlap with other potentially more serious eye conditions and diseases, which is why it is absolutely essential that you get a professional diagnosis of your condition from one of our optometrists straight away. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, call 09 522 1283 or 09 836 1731 to see our optometrists for a thorough eye check.

Different Types of Blepharitis

Anterior – affects the outer edge of the eyelid, near the eyelashes.

Posterior – occurs at the inner edge of the eyelid which touches the eyeball.

What causes blepharitis isn’t completely clear, but the disorder is most often associated with:

  • An overgrowth of the normal bacteria that live on the eyelid skin
  • Blocked glands
  • Seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff of the eybrow and scalp)
  • Eyelash mites or lice
  • Allergies to eye medications, makeup or contact lens solution

Seborrhea blepharitis, the most common form, is caused by small oil glands on the eyelid becoming clogged. The tear film then becomes unstable, causing waxy, greasy scales to build up on the eyelid margins.

If your eye are red, dry, inflamed or itchy it is important that you come to see us so we can diagnose that your condition is in fact blepharitis as opposed to another eye condition. If you do suffer from the disorder, it is also important we diagnose the type of blepharitis you have so we can treat it accordingly. See us for an eye examination: we take your eye care seriously and so should you.

Do you think you may be suffering from blepharitis? Don’t let the condition get worse. Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.