Common Eye Disorders > Blepharitis

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It is a very common condition that can be associated with a low grade bacterial infection (staphylococcal blepharitis) or a generalized skin condition (seborrheic blepharitis).

Who gets blepharitis?

Blepharitis is seen most commonly in adults. Factors believed to contribute to blepharitis include abnormalities in oil gland function and an alteration in bacterial colonies that normally live on the skin. Blepharitis is not contagious and cannot be passed from one person to another.

How do I know if I have blepharitis?

Red eyelid margins and persistent ocular irritation can be signs of blepharitis. However, your ophthalmologist can help definitively diagnose this condition by careful examination of the eyelid margins. In some instances, dry eye symptoms and underlying skin conditions (e.g. rosacea) can be associated with blepharitis.

How is blepharitis treated?

The inflammation around the eyelids can be improved by increased lid hygiene. Gently scrubbing the eyelid margins with baby shampoo diluted with water can decrease the amount of flaking skin and oil in the area. A cotton tipped applicator or a wash cloth wrapped around the index finger can be used to apply the shampoo. Warm compresses applied to the lids for several minutes a day can also be helpful. In some select cases, your ophthalmologist may also choose to prescribe an antibiotic ointment or drop. This chronic condition often requires long-term blepharitis treatment in order to prevent exacerbations.

If you are researching blepharitis treatment or searching for an eye specialist in Cape Town, please contact one of our practices where our qualified assistants are able to provide professional and friendly guidance.