Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids akin to skin acne and dandruff of the scalp and is often associated with Rosacea. Factors such as abnormalities in oil gland secretions and alterations in colonies of bacteria which normally live on the skin are believed to contribute to this condition. Blepharitis is NOT an infection and is not contagious from one person to another. Blepharitis is commonly found in patients with dry eye conditions and very commonly exacerbates dry eye.
Red eyelid margins, blood shot eyes and persistent ocular irritation, including itching and/or burning, are all commonly associated with Blepharitis, as are excessive tearing and blurred vision. Your eye doctor can easily diagnose the condition with a careful examination of the eyelid margins.
In order to successfully treat Blepharitis (there is no known cure for the disease), it is essential that good eyelid hygiene practices be followed. Scrubbing the eyelid margins with soaps or cleansers (baby shampoo or Cetaphil face cleanser) are commonly prescribed to help reduce the amount of abnormal oil secretions and bacterial colonies on the lid margins. This also helps to prevent the flaky skin that results from exposure to these same elements. Warm compresses can also be quite helpful when used 1-2 times daily before cleansing the lid margins. In more extreme or difficult cases, other prescription medications may also be prescribed to help bring the condition under control.