Blepharitis is the medical term for an inflammation of the eyelid.
The word comes from the Greek word blepharon, which means eyelid.
And itis denotes inflammation in English.
Even though annoying and uncomfortable, this eyelid infection is not contagious and usually not damaging to your vision.
However, if left untreated, it can lead to severe scarring of eyelid, loss and misdirection of eyelash and even ulceration of the cornea.
Till date, it is unclear about the exact cause of this eyelid inflammation.
However, there are several associations with the development of this eyelid disorder.
All of us carry bacteria (especially staphylococcus) on our skin. At normal level, they are harmless to us.
However, warm and moist environment such as the eyelids provide an ideal place for them to flourish and overgrow.
This becomes a problem for certain people as they are more vulnerable to bacterial attacks.
The bacteria infection can cause loss of eyelashes and dandruff like scales to form along the lashes and the edges of the eyelid.
Bacteria induced blepharitis is usually more severe.
Without treatment, it can cause long-term effects such as dilated and visible capillaries, abnormal turning in or out of eyelid, thickened lid margins, and ingrown eyelashes which may cause cornea erosion.
There are up to 40 oil glands in each of our eyelid and they secrete oil to lubricate our eyes and prevent tear evaporation.
However, there are times that they produce too little or the abnormal type of oil.
Acne rosacea, a common skin inflammation, is sometimes the underlying cause of this process.
The abnormality leads to the eyelid becoming inflamed and itchy, while the eye becoming dry and more easily infected.
Dry eye syndrome is often a by product of such situation.
A skin condition that creates flaking and dandruff on the scalp and eyebrows.
This skin disorder may cause the glands to produce excessive amounts of oil; providing an ideal environment where bacteria can multiply rapidly.
Fungi or certain types of yeast (such as Malassezia furfur) that feed on oils (lipids) in the skin may cause blepharitis too.
Eyelid inflammation may also be caused by viral, an infestation of lice on the eyelashes, eyelash mites (tiny organisms in the eyelash follicles) or an allergic reaction to medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup.
You may have blepharitis if you are experiencing:
You are at higher risks of getting this eyelid disease if you:
It is uncommon for blepharitis to cause serious vision damage, however there are some complications which has to be taken note of.
A one-off complete cure doesn't exist yet.
However, good eyelid hygiene and medication can control this eyelid inflammation.
Nutritional therapy is believed to help speed up recovery also.
For more details, please see Treatments For Blepharitis.
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