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Blepharitis

Flaky Eyelids and Blepharitis

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Updated May 29, 2014

Woman rubbing eye
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Blepharitis is a common condition causing flaky eyelids. It is a common problem in both children and adults. The condition produces flaky debris at the bases of the eyelashes. Blepharitis is an uncomfortable condition, usually producing inflamed and itchy eyelids, but it doesn't permanently damage eyesight.

Types of Blepharitis

There are two types of blepharitis, seborrheic and ulcerative.

Symptoms

Blepharitis commonly causes red, crusty eyelids. If you have blepharitis, your symptoms are probably most noticeable upon awakening in the morning.

Causes

Most cases of blepharitis are caused by poor eyelid hygiene. Other causes include oily eyelid glands, allergic reactions, bacterial infections, or lice on the eyelashes.

Diagnosis

A slit lamp is usually used during an examination to diagnose blepharitis. The slit lamp allows the doctor to carefully examine the eyelashes and eyelids.

Treatment

Blepharitis is a chronic condition. There is no cure for this condition, but it can be treated. Probably the best way to treat blepharitis is with good eyelid hygiene, including regularly cleaning the lids and lashes and eyelid scrubs. In addition to hygiene, some doctors may prescribe antibiotics or other medications to help control the condition.

What you should know

If you experience symptoms of blepharitis, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Sometimes the symptoms of blepharitis are very similar to those of dry eye syndrome, another bothersome eye condition. An eye doctor will diagnose your condition and give you ways to help manage it.

Source: American Optometric Association, Blepharitis. 10 Jul 2007.

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