Eyelid Inflammation (Blepharitis)

Blepharitis is one of the most common ocular conditions and is characterized by inflammation, scaling, reddening, and crusting of the eyelid. This condition may also cause burning, itching or a grainy sensation when introducing foreign objects or substances to the eye. Blepharitis is typically caused by bacterial infection or blockage of the meibomian oil glands at the base of each eyelash.


Although inflammation can be troublesome, it is a harmless condition that is usually easily treated from home. 


APPOTEK can help you with eyelid inflammation.


Blepharitis is usually the result of bacteria and inflammation from congested meibomian oil glands at the base of each eyelash.
Other conditions that can cause blepharitis, whether infectious or noninfectious, include bacterial infections and allergies.
Different variations of blepharitis can be classified as seborrheic, staphylococcal, mixed, posterior or meibomitis, or parasitic.


Blepharitis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the eyelid, usually at the base of the eyelashes. Symptoms include inflammation, irritation, itchiness, a burning sensation, excessive tearing and crusting and sticking of eyelids. 


Additional symptoms may include visual impairment such as photophobia and blurred vision. Symptoms are generally worse in the morning and patients may experience exacerbation and several remissions if left untreated. 


Main symptoms:


  • Watery eyes – due to excessive tearing.
  • Red eyes – due to dilated blood vessels on the sclera.
  • Swollen eyelids – due to inflammation.
  • Crusting at the eyelid margins/base of the eyelashes/medial canthus, generally worse on waking – due to excessive bacterial buildup along the lid margins.
  • Eyelid sticking – due to crusting along the eyelid margin.
  • Eyelid itching – due to the irritation from inflammation and epidermis scaling of the eyelid.
  • Flaking of skin on eyelids – due to tear film suppressed by clogged meibomian glands.
  • Gritty/burning sensation in the eye, or foreign-body sensation – due to crusting from bacteria and clogged oil gland
  • Frequent blinking – due to impaired tear film from clogged oil glands unable to keep tears from evaporating.
  • Light sensitivity/photophobia

Prevention and protection

Routine washing of the eyelids helps subdue symptoms and prevent blepharitis. Washing each eyelid for 30 seconds, twice a day, with a single drop of hypoallergenic soap (e.g. baby shampoo) and ample water can help. The most effective treatment is over the counter lid scrubs used twice a day.


Blepharitis is a chronic condition causing frequent exacerbation, thus requiring routine eyelid hygiene. Hygienic practices include warm compresses, eyelid massages, and eyelid scrubs. Topical steroids provided some symptomatic relief, but are ineffective in clearing bacteria from the eyelids. Eye drops or ointments containing corticosteroids are frequently used in conjunction with antibiotics and can reduce eyelid inflammation.

When to consult a doctor

Seek care if you have severe problems that do not go away with non-prescription treatments.

How APPOTEK can help

  • Consulting
  • Individual assessment, prescriptions and referral if necessary

Vadym Diadiun, Doctor of Medicine, M.D.