What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common eye condidtion. It is an inflammation of the eyelid margins that can make the eyelids feel sore, itichy and dry.

What is the cause of Blepharitis?

The cause of blepharitis is not completely understood, but it is thought that it is caused by an imbalance in the natural bacteria that lives on the eyelid margin. You can be more at risk of blepharitis if you suffer from eczema, rosacea or other atopic skin condidtions.

Signs & Symptoms

• Red, inflamed, swollen eyelids.
• Sore eyes.
• Itching, irritation, discomfort.
• Tiny flakes, scales or crusts at the base of the eyelashes that resembles fine dandruff.
• Sticky eyelids, especially when you wake up.

1. Warm Compress

Resting something warm against the eyelids helps to melt the oils in the blocked glands, allowing the oils to flow more freely. It also loosens the dry flakey skin around the eyelash margin. We recommend resting a warm mask on the eyes for 2 minutes. If you do not have a heated eye mask you can use a hot flannel or the back of a warm spoon.

(Important: always make sure the warm compress is a comfortable temperature on the back of your hand before resting it on the eyes).

2. Cleaning the eyelids

The warm compress should be followed by cleaning along the eyelid margin. This helps to clear away the 'crusting' on the eyelids. This is important as it is the crusting on the eyelids that can cause blockage of the oil glands and the itchy uncomfortable feeling. We recommend using lid wipes. Place the lid wipe over you first finger and wipe along the eyelid margin. It is important that you wipe along the waterline or the rim of the eyelids and also through the eye lashes. It is helpful to rub in small gentle movements (not hard scrubbing) backwards and forwards to ensure you remove all of the debris along the eyelid margin.

3. Moisturising Drops

Blepharitis reduces the quality and volume of the tears and can lead to dry eyes. Therefore it is recommended to use moisturising eye drops after cleaning the eye lids to refresh the tear film.

How often should I perform the lid hygiene routine?

The frequency of treatment will depend on the severity of the blepharitis. Your optometrist can give you more details on a treatment plan.

Have a look at our blepharitis video below.