How to Say It: Bleff-uh-REYE-tis
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. It can affect the skin, lashes, or glands of the eyelid.
There are two types:
A person may also have a mix of both types.
Anterior blepharitis is usually caused by a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Posterior blepharitis is usually caused by problems with the glands of the eyelids.
Other things that may play a role are:
In some people, the cause is not clear.
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Some things that may make problems worse are:
Symptoms vary from person to person. Problem happen more often in the morning. They also happen in both eyes.
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. An eye exam will be done. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
If the diagnosis is not clear, these tests may be done:
Treatment will depend on the cause. The goal is to ease symptoms. This can be done with supportive care, such as:
People who are not helped by these methods may need medicine, such as:
There are no known methods to lower the risk of this health problem.
Eye Smart—American Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute
Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Blepharitis. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/blepharitis?sso=y. Accessed March 16, 2021.
Blepharitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/blepharitis. Accessed March 16, 2021.
College of Optometrists. Clinical Management Guidelines: Blepharitis (Lid Margin Disease). College of Optometrists 2016 Feb 5.
Facts about blepharitis. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/blepharitis/blepharitis. Accessed March 16, 2021.
What is blepharitis. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-blepharitis. Accessed March 16, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated: 03/16/2021