Blepharitis can be unsightly and irritating, but it doesn’t have to ruin your life. With proper care it can be treated and managed.

Blepharitis is a fairly common disease of the eye that can strike people of all ages, and manifest itself with a slightly different set of symptoms since it has more than one cause. Management will depend on which type of blepharitis the patient has, the cause, the age of the patient, and general physical condition. While unsightly and irritating, blepharitis is not known to be contagious.

Patients with blepharitis will still be able to wear contact lenses in most cases, though their doctor might advise discontinuing use temporarily during treatment. The doctor might also recommend switching to daily wear disposable or gas permeable lenses and it may be advisable to limit the number of hours contact lenses are worn each day and discontinue use of extended wear contact lenses.

Blepharitis is a disease can become more serious if left untreated and can lead to other eye diseases if not managed properly. Blepharitis most often causes redness, scaling and itching of the eyelids and sometimes watering of the eyes. Some sufferers also report symptoms unrelated to the eye like fatigue, headaches and difficulty sleeping.

Generally blepharitis falls into two broad categories: Anterior and posterior, each of which can have different causes. Anterior blepharitis involves redness and inflammation of the eyelid around the top of the eye where the eyelashes attach. Posterior blepharitis is the similar condition of the lower or inner edge of the eyelid. The most common cause of the disease is related to a bacteria called staphylococcal blepharitis and treatment may include antibiotics and antibiotic creams.

More often treatment for the disease will generally include some type of cleaning ritual for the eyelid and eye. Cleaning of the eyelid may be as simple as gentle washing with warm water and a clean towel or a non-irritating baby shampoo. Other cleaning options may involve products like Blephaclean, antibiotic creams, Gel Tears, Refresh, and Celluvisc.

Best results will be realized by faithful adherence to the cleaning schedule and careful management and cleaning of contact lenses.

Blepharitis is unsightly and irritating, but with diligent management it can be controlled with very little impact on your daily life. Like with any disease of the eye, regular follow-up exams are recommended.