Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Eye health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Blepharitis: Symptoms and treatment

Blepharitis is a common eye condition causing the rims of the eyelids to become red and swollen.

Blepharitis symptoms include a burning feeling, soreness or stinging in the eyes, a crusty substance on the eyelashes and itchy eyelids.

You do not catch blepharitis from someone else. Bacterial infection can cause blepharitis, but it can also be a complication of a skin conditions, including seborrhoeic dermatitis and rosacea.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

The symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Feeling like something is in your eye.
  • Burning of the eye.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Red and swollen eyes or eyelids.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Crusting of the eyelashes.

 

How is blepharitis treated?

Blepharitis cannot be cured but it can be treated and controlled through correct eyelid hygiene. Left untreated, blepharitis can develop into a more serious condition such as scarring or injury to the eye's tissue. If you have blepharitis, follow the steps listed below to help treat and cleanse your eye.

  • Wet a clean flannel in very warm water. Wring the flannel and place it over the closed eyelids for five minutes. Wet the flannel again if necessary to maintain the desired temperature. This will help to soften crusts and loosen oily debris.
  • Place the warm wet flannel over your index finger and apply a diluted solution of 50% baby shampoo or mild soap.
  • Cleanse one eye at a time. Close the eye you are cleansing and rub the flannel or your finger over the eyelashes and lid edges several times using horizontal strokes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with a clean flannel that has been under the warm tap. Pat dry.

When eyelid hygiene is not enough to provide a solution, a doctor may recommend topical or oral antibiotics.

How do I prevent blepharitis?

There are many everyday steps that you can take to prevent blepharitis. These include:

  • Keeping your hands and face clean.
  • Avoiding rubbing your eyes with dirty fingers, a soiled handkerchief etc.
  • Removing all eye make-up before bedtime.

If you are in the early stages of treating blepharitis, avoid using eye make-up to prevent further irritation. Once you begin using make-up again, replace any liquid products because your old products may be contaminated.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on December 23, 2015

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

man holding back
Myths & facts about back pain
hands grabbing knee
How to keep your joints healthy
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
cute baby
Simple tips to keep baby's skin healthy
cute dog
10 common allergy triggers
79x79_hairloss_in_women.jpg
Do you know what causes hair loss?
woman exercising
Exercises for low back pain
sperm and egg
Facts to help you get pregnant
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
rash on skin
Soothe skin and prevent flare-ups
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
pregnant woman eating healthy salad
Nutrition needs before pregnancy