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Description of Blepharitis

This is a condition affecting the eyelids in which the small fat lipid (grease) secreting meibomian glands become chronically infected and inflamed, the inflammation usually extending itself to the eyelash follicles or roots which lines the eyelids edges adjacent to these glands. Blepharitis is an extremely common condition and can have a hereditary background. The most common presentation is that of chronic sore red eyelids with symptoms of stinging and burning with a tendency to constant eye rubbing and the need to continually use drops, many of which involve home medications such as cold tea, boric acid and various over the counter soothing prescriptions dispensed in pharmacies without the need for a prescription. Blepharitis can be associated with skin and general medical conditions such as acne rosacea which is characterised by high colour in the skin over the cheek bone area and swelling of the nose.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Complications of long term uncontrolled blepharitis consists of recurrent eyelid cysts which may require surgical removal and infected corneal ulcers which if not treated adequately can lead to perforation of the cornea and possible loss of the eye in rare cases.

Treatment of Blepharitis

Treatment consists of specific anti-blepharitis drugs which combine to give an anti allergic/decongestant effect and in cases where associated infection is present, antibiotics locally to the eyes and sometimes systemically may be required. Treatment in severe cases must be continued for life and must be adequate. Monitoring of the condition should be continued by an ophthalmologist.