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What Causes Blepharitis?

Anterior blepharitis affects the outside front of the eyelid, where the eyelashes are attached. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria (usually Staphylococcus) and scalp dandruff.

Posterior blepharitis (also called meibomitis) affects the inner eyelid (the moist part that makes contact with the eye) and is caused by problems with the oil (meibomian) glands in this part of the eyelid. The meibomian glands become infected, usually by Staphylococcus bacteria. Two skin disorders can

also cause this form of blepharitis: acne rosacea, which leads to red, inflamed skin, and scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).

What Are The Symptoms Of Blepharitis?

Symptoms of either form of blepharitis include a foreign body or burning sensation, excessive tearing, itching (usually at the lid margins), sensitivity to light (photophobia), red and swollen eyelids, redness of the eye, blurred vision, frothy tears, dry eye, or crusting of the eyelashes upon awakening.

What Other Conditions Are Associated WithBlepharitis?

Styes (hordeolum), chalazions, acne rosacea, and dry eye syndrome are most often associated with blepharitis.

Abnormal or decreased oil secretions that are part of the tear film can result in excess tearing, or dry eye. Because tears are necessary to keep the cornea healthy, tear film problems can make people more at risk for corneal infections. For more information see the section on dry eye syndrome.

If your eye doctor finds that acne rosacea is contributing to your blepharitis, we may also prescribe oral antibiotics in addition to the lid treatments.