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Eye diseases


It can be specific or chronic inflammation.
It is often associated to dry eye.
It requires constant care in eyelid hygiene.

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a very common problem seen in ophthalmologists’ offices and consists of the swelling of the edge of the eyelids, located at the base of the eyelashes and/or glands just below them, which are called the Meibomian glands.

These glands produce a fatty secretion that ensures tears are of a good quality and do not excessively evaporate, so they are essential in making sure the eye’s surface remains hydrated and in good condition.

Blepharitis can be specific or chronic inflammation, and its severity varies greatly from one person to another. You might sometimes not even know you have it, and it is only detected during a full eye examination. Other times, it causes eye discomfort of differing intensity, such as excessive tearing, redness, a foreign body or grit sensation, itching and, in severe cases, even fluctuations in vision, excessive light sensitivity, or pain.

These symptoms might be accompanied by “dandruff” or small scabs on the eyelashes, an accumulation of fat on the edge of the eyelid, or the presence of styes. Blepharitis is also often associated with dry eye, and over 80% of patients with dry eye suffer from Meibomian gland dysfunction.

Normally, blepharitis is linked to the malfunctioning of the Meibomian glands, and the spread of bacteria or other micro-organisms such as the Demodex mite, which is to be found in the eyelid area and can cause local infection.

The source of the disorder is often unknown, although you are more likely to suffer from it if any of the following factors apply:

  • Elderly age
  • Hormone changes (e.g. Adolescence or menopause)
  • Skin diseases such as rosacea or seborrhoeic dermatitis

If you wear contact lenses for too long, work with computers or spend a long time in dry atmospheres with air conditioning in the summer or heating in the winter, the symptoms related to blepharitis are also more likely to be worse.

Eyelid hygiene is essential in treating blepharitis and, therefore, you must be consistent in looking after your eyelids. We recommend a daily cleansing routine with neutral soap and water, although there are specific wipes and gels that we can recommend. As support, we also recommend regularly applying heat to the eyelid area (e.g. with a warm cloth) and then massaging gently to make it easier for the fat to be expelled.

You must see your ophthalmologist for a diagnosis of the causes of blepharitis, to offer guidelines and specific treatments, and to provide suitable follow-up to check to new outbreaks or complications associated to this chronic disease. At the Miranza clinics you have the option of innovative treatments in consulting rooms, which are more effective in terms of results than eyelid hygiene at home and a necessary addition to it in some patients.  You might also require antibiotics/anti-inflammatories to keep the disease at bay if you have certain types of moderate or severe blepharitis.