Have your eyelids ever been red, itchy, irritated or become crusty? These are all symptoms of blepharitis, a common eye condition caused by bacteria, a skin condition like dandruff, or other factors. Blepharitis is not contagious and generally does not cause permanent damage, but it is important to be aware of its symptoms and keep it under control. According to the American Optometric Association, there are two types of blepharitis – anterior blepharitis, which occurs at the outer area where eyelashes are attached, and posterior blepharitis, which affects the inner edge of the eyelid. Anterior blepharitis is often caused by bacteria or dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows. Posterior blepharitis can be the result of irregular oil production by eyelid glands and can also be caused by skin conditions like rosacea.
Neither version of the condition typically disappears completely, but patients can help keep it away by keeping their eyelids clean and free of crust. Eye doctors often recommend using warm compresses and prescribed antibiotics. Doctors on your vision plan may also suggest not using eye makeup or contacts during treatment. By following their recommendations and taking care of your eyes, you can greatly reduce the occurrence of blepharitis and keep your eyes comfortable and healthy.