Blepharitis - Causes

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If known, what was the cause of your blepharitis?

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What causes blepharitis?

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.

Most cases of blepharitis are posterior blepharitis, due to inflammation of the meibomian glands of the lids. There are about 40 of these glands in each of the upper and lower lids. The eyelid margins can become inflamed, irritated, and itchy when these glands produce abnormal secretions. Blepharitis is often seen in patients with acne rosacea, a generalized illness of oil glands.

Anterior blepharitis is due to inflammation of the lid margin around the lashes. Seborrheic blepharitis is similar to dandruff of the scalp.

Allergies due to reactions from mascara, contact lens solutions, sprays, exposure to animals, environmental chemicals, or airborne allergens can also cause blepharitis.

Less commonly, inflammation of the lids can be caused by a primary infection of the eye lids by bacteria such as Staphylococci or infestation of the lashes by tiny mites (Demodex) or head lice.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: LEIGH, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 14

In 1994 I had my eyelids tattooed after which I experienced itchy, burning and crusty eyelids. I concluded unsanitary tattoo tool was the cause. I had my eyes examined and the doctor asked me if I was aware I have blepharitis. I had never heard of it until then. I have lived with the bothersome eye lid problem since but finally had enough. Ophthalmologist said to use baby shampoo on hot cloth to clean eye lids and then hot rice bag. I will try this remedy today.

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Comment from: Dan, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

The source of the blepharitis infection (bacteria) was from unsanitary bath water that splashed into eye region and eventually onto my eyeball. Cleansing the body in a bathtub (stagnant water) might be acceptable to some but definitely has health risks. Never again.

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