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Symptoms of blepharitis

NHS ChoicesMedical Reference

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Most people with blepharitis experience repeated episodes with long periods of time where they do not have any symptoms in between. Both eyes are affected by blepharitis.

Symptoms can vary depending on the cause. They tend to be worse in the morning and can include:

  • itchy, sore, red eyelids
  • eyelids that stick together and are difficult to open when you wake up
  • eyelashes that become crusty or greasy
  • a burning, gritty sensation in your eyes
  • increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • abnormal eyelash growth
  • loss of eyelashes
  • swollen eyelid margins (the edges of your eyelids)

Symptoms of other conditions

Blepharitis is often caused by another health condition, which may cause other symptoms as well.

Read more information about the causes of blepharitis.

If you have blepharitis caused by seborrhoeic dermatitis (a skin condition that causes your skin to become inflamed or flaky), you may also have oily skin and dandruff

If you have blepharitis that is caused by  rosacea (a skin condition that mainly affects the face), you may also have flushing (redness) and spots.

Blepharitis is often associated with another condition called  dry eye syndrome (an eye condition where the eyes do not make enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly).

Dry eye syndrome causes:

  • feelings of dryness, grittiness or soreness in your eyes, which gets worse throughout the day
  • redness of your eyes  
  • watering eyes, particularly when you are exposed to wind
Medical Review: May 15, 2012

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