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. Staphylococcal blepharitis is a result of bacterial infection of the lashes. Microscopic mite infection causes demodex blepharitis.

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 head lice.

Return to Blepharitis

See what others are saying

Comment from: sad eyes, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I think the cause of my blepharitis is the scarring and clogging of the meibomian glands in my eyelids, especially the lower lids. I have had surgery, but I still have severe tears, itching and redness in the eyes. This summer it was much better. Now in the northeast with the heat and dry air it is awful.

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Comment from: mjfrnkamj, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 20

I was cleaning the toilet with a brush when I felt something hit me in the eye. I splashed water into my eyes from the wash basin and went to sleep. The next morning I noticed pain in my right eye and sensitivity to light; blepharitis.

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