►What are the risk factors of Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a common condition where the edges of the eyelids become red and swollen. Blepharitis usually involves the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow and affects both eyelids.
The word "blepharitis" is derived from the Greek word blepharos, which means "eyelid," and the Greek suffix itis, which is typically used in English to denote an inflammation. Inflammation is the process by which white blood cells and the body's chemicals react to and protect us from foreign substances, injury, or infection. Signs of inflammation are eye swelling, redness, pain, warmth, and often change in function.
Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that is difficult to treat. Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and may be unsightly. But it usually doesn't cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it's not contagious.
Signs and symptoms of blepharitis are usually present in both eyes, affecting the upper and lower lids. They can appear at any age. Symptoms (what one feels in the eyes or eyelids) include:
Itchy, sore and red eyelids that stick together
Crusty or greasy eyelashes
A burning, gritty sensation in your eyes
Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
Swollen eyelid margins
Finding contact lenses uncomfortable to wear
Abnormal eyelash growth or loss of eyelashes in severe cases
In most cases both eyes are affected, but one eye can be more affected than the other. The symptoms tend to be worse in the morning.
Blepharitis involves the eyelid margins, where the eyelashes grow and the openings of the tiny oil glands are located. There may be involvement of the skin adjacent to the outer edges of the eyelid margins and/or the inner edge of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eyeball secondary to the underlying disorder of the lid margins.
There are three main types of blepharitis:
Anterior blepharitis – where the inflammation affects the skin around the base of your eyelashes
Posterior blepharitis – where the inflammation affects your Meibomian glands, found along the eyelid margins behind the base of the eyelashes
Mixed blepharitis – a combination of both anterior and posterior blepharitis.
The exact cause of blepharitis isn't clear. It may be associated with one or more factors, including:
Seborrheic dermatitis — dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
A bacterial infection
Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands in your eyelids
Rosacea — a skin condition characterized by facial redness
Allergies, including allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup
Eyelash mites or lice