Blepharitis, Definition, causes, risk factors, types, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, complications, prevention

Body Health
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, which causes the area to appear swollen and red. This condition can occur in both eyes, with inflammatory conditions that are more clearly visible in one eye than the other eye. Blepharitis can be experienced by all age groups and this condition is generally not contagious.

Causes and Risk Factors for Blepharitis

Not yet known what is the exact cause of blepharitis, but there are various factors that can increase the risk of this disease, such as the appearance of dandruff on the scalp or eyebrows. Allergic reactions from the use of cosmetic products can also trigger inflammation of the eyelids. Other factors that can increase the risk of blepharitis include:

Blepharitis, Definition, causes, risk factors, types, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, complications, prevention

  • Side effects of drug use
  • Bacterial infections
  • Abnormalities in the oil glands
  • There are lice on the lashes

Types of Blepharitis

Blepharitis is divided into two types, namely:
  • Anterior blepharitis, which is inflammation of the skin on the outside of the petals. This type is generally triggered by infection with Staphylococcus bacteria and dandruff on the scalp.
  • Posterior blepharitis, which is inflammation of the inside of the eyelid. Posterior blepharitis is triggered by an abnormality in the oil gland located on the inside of the eyelid. In addition, this type of blepharitis can also be triggered by a skin disorder, such as seborrheic dermatitis or rosacea.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Blepharitis generally occurs in both eyes, but the symptoms that arise will be more severe on one of the eyelids. These symptoms will worsen in the morning. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Swelling and redness of the eyelids
  • The eyelid feels itchy
  • Red eye
  • The eyelids become sticky
  • Eyes become sensitive to light
  • abnormal eyelash growth
  • Wink often
  • Exfoliation of the skin around the eyes
  • The eyes may appear watery or may also appear dry
  • Blurred vision
  • Eyes feel sandy
  • The sensation of burning or stinging in the eyes
  • Eyelashes fall out

Diagnosis of Blepharitis

The diagnosis of blepharitis is done by examining the patient's eyes, especially on the eyelids. During the examination, the doctor will use a special device that resembles a magnifying glass, in order to see the patient's eye in more detail.

To find out the cause of blepharitis or the possibility of a disease other than blepharitis, the doctor will examine samples of skin crust or oil on the eyelids. The sample will be analyzed to find out if there is a fungal or bacterial infection, as well as the possibility of allergies.

Treatment of Blepharitis

Until now, there is no treatment to treat blepharitis. However, there are some things that can be done to deal with the symptoms that are experienced. Patients can relieve inflammation at home by compressing the eyes with a cloth and warm water for at least 1 minute. Wet the cloth occasionally to keep it warm, to soften the crust and prevent oil deposits on the eyelids.


In patients who are not infected, the doctor will prescribe eye drops or corticosteroid ointments, to reduce inflammation. Artificial tears can also be prescribed to reduce irritation caused by dry eyes.


For blepharitis patients suspected of being triggered by a bacterial infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to drink, ointment, or eye drops.

Some things to know about antibiotic use are:

  • Avoid using contact lenses when using antibiotics in the form of ointments or eye drops, because they can cause irritation.
  • The patient may experience a burning sensation due to antibiotic ointment, but this sensation does not last long.
  • Drinking antibiotics can cause patients to be more sensitive to sunlight. Therefore, avoid sun exposure as much as possible.
  • Drinking antibiotics can also affect fetal and infant development. Therefore, it is not recommended for blepharitis patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Be aware of the side effects of using antibiotics, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. 

Dietary habit

During treatment, patients are advised to eat foods that contain omega-3 fats. Some studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help overcome the symptoms of blepharitis. A number of foods with omega-3 fatty acids are:

  • Sardines, tuna or salmon.
  • Nuts.
  • Soybeans and soy products.
  • Grains.
  • Green vegetable.

Complications of Blepharitis

Blepharitis that is not handled properly risks creating complications, such as:

  • abnormal eyelash growth.
  • Eyelash loss.
  • Spots or painful lumps on the eyelids due to infection.
  • Excess tears, or even dry eye.
  • The shape of the tip of the eyelid that folds inward or outward.
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Chalazion or a nodule-like lump that appears on the inside of the eyelid.
  • Discomfort when wearing lens contacts.
  • Damage to the cornea due to prolonged irritation of the inflamed eyelids.

Blepharitis Prevention

Blepharitis can cause discomfort and pain in the eyes. To prevent this, a few steps below can be done
  • Wash your face regularly. For women who usually wear facial makeup, don't forget to clean it every night before going to sleep.
  • Always keep your hands clean to avoid bacterial infections, and don't scratch your eyes with dirty hands.
  • Check with your doctor immediately if your eyes are red, swollen and painful.
  • Ask for a special shampoo to the doctor to reduce dandruff, especially in patients with severe thrombosis.

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