It is a common condition causing inflammation of the eyelids.  It is a chronic external eye disorder resulting in red, burning and irritated eyes.


The cause of blepharitis is the inflammation of oil glands located behind the eyelashes.  These oil glands are responsible for producing the outmost layer of tears.  With blepharitis, the oils from these glands do not flow freely and the gland openings become plugged.

Left untreated, these glands can become irritated and possibly infected.  Loss of eyelashes can occur, as well as, recurrent painful eyelid swelling and/or styes.    Dandruff-like scales may be found at the base of the eyelashes as well.

Many patients complain of burning eyes and matted shut eyelids being worse after waking up.  Blepharitis frequently occurs in people who have a tendency towards oily skin and dandruff.  A small organism, called the Demodex mite, can also cause blepharitis.

It can occur at any age.


Since blepharitis is a chronic condition, there is no cure.  While over-the-counter treatments for blepharitis are available, it is advisable to call Kniaziew Optometry if you experience these symptoms to diagnose the condition.

There are several ways to treat blepharitis and patients can manage it themselves.  This includes:

  • Cleaning away the crusty material around the lashes with a warm compress – a clean face cloth soaked in warm water. This helps keep the lashes clean and the oily component of tears flowing better if done at least twice a day.
  • In the case of a Demodex infection, you Kniaziew Optometry doctor may be able to apply special oils to reduce the number of pests inhabiting the eyelids.
  • An antibiotic ointment applied to the lid margins may help manage the symptoms of blepharitis.
  • An omega 3 fatty acid supplement can help reduce the inflammation associated with blepharitis.
  • Artificial tears and steroid eye drops.
  • In sever cases, oral antibiotics may also have to be considered as a treatment.