Blepharitis

Blepharitis is the medical term for inflamed eyelids. The inflammation is like eczema of the skin, with red, scaly eyelids.You may notice tired, or gritty eyes, which may be uncomfortable in sunlight or a smoky atmosphere. They may be slightly red, and feel as though there is something in them.The eyelids have tiny glands in them, especially the lower lids. These glands make substances that mix with tears, and help the tears to spread across the eye.

However, as you get older, and particularly if you have dry skin, these glands can block. As a result the glands do not make the chemicals that enables the tears to spread evenly across the front of the eye.

Resulting in the tears breaking up and dry patches developing on the surface of the eye. These patches make the eyes feel sore or gritty.

A cartoon drawing of blepharitis: inflamed eyelids causing a sore eye

side view

front view

Treatment

Blepharitis is not usually a serious condition. However, treatment is needed if you want to make the eye more comfortable. In a very few people the blepharitis can be severe and damage the eyelids, and treatment can prevent more damage occurring.

Start with lid cleaning and consult your GP who may prescribe you an antibiotic cream. Tablets may be prescribed for people with very troublesome sore eyes.The treatment should make your eyes more comfortable, but there is no magic cure. Even with treatment your eyes may remain a little sore, but no harm will come to them and there is nothing to worry about.

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