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What are the symptoms and signs of blepharitis?
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 or irritated eyelids,
dryness of the eyes,
gritty or sandy sensation,
foreign-body sensation (the feeling that something may be in the eye),
crusting of the eyelids,
decreased comfort while wearing contact lenses, and
sensitivity to light.
Signs (observations that one makes) of blepharitis include
red eyelid margins,
increased shedding of skin cells near the eyelids, causing flaking of the skin around the eyes,
matting of the lashes or eyes "glued together" in the morning,
eyelids that appear greasy and crusted with scales that cling to the lashes,
crusted eyelashes upon awakening,
tears that are frothy or bubbly in nature,
eyelashes that grow abnormally,
loss of eyelashes,
mild scarring of the eyelid margins,
mild ulceration of the lid margins,
dry and flaky patches of skin on the lid, and
dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows.
The symptoms and signs of blepharitis are often erroneously ascribed by the patient as being due to "recurrent conjunctivitis." They are also often mistakenly attributed to "dry eye" by patients due to the gritty sensation that may occur. Lubricating drops, however, do little to improve the condition.