Eyelid Inflammation: A common eye disease

Right upper eye lid abscess "stye or hordeolum"

Summary: Whenever the season take a turn, there is some sort of infection seen either in the eyes, throat etc. Eyelid inflammation is not uncommon and only a specialized Eye doctor can treat such issue.

Blepharitis is a common swelling of the eyelids involving the part of it where the eyelashes grow. It is the result of malfunctioning of miniscule oily glands situated at the end of the eyelashes. This causes irritation, inflammation and eyelids getting itchy. Multiple disorders and health conditions are held responsible for causing Blepharitis.

Blepharitis is often termed as a chronic condition because sometimes it is difficult to treat. It may be unpleasant, scratchy but normally does not affect the eyes permanently.


The symptoms are as follows:

  • Red and watery eyes
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Red or swollen eyelids
  • Shedding of the skin around the eyes
  • Coated eyeballs upon awakening
  • Sticky eyelids
  • Unusual or regular blinking
  • Subtlety to light
  • Eyelash loss

Time for eye specialist to step in

If you have been experiencing Blepharitis symptoms for some time and things are looking any brighter, make an appointment with your eye specialist. You can also try cleaning the affected area and maintain hygiene.


There is uncertainty over the causes of Blepharitis. However, eye specialists have listed out some:

  • Dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows known as Seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Functional issues with the oil glands in the eyelids.
  • Multiple allergies which include allergies to medicines, makeup or contact lenses.
  • Acne medicine- isotretinoin can lead to augmentation in bacteria on the eyelids.
  • It can be caused by a combination of other factors.

What if you have Blepharitis?

Unfortunately, if you suffer from eyelid inflammation, you may face:

  1. Problems with the eyelashes: Blepharitis is responsible for your eyelashes to grow abnormally or fall out.
  2. Eyelid skin problems: In response to long term Blepharitis, scratch marks may appear on the eyelids.
  3. Dry eyes or excessive tearing: Unusual oily stuff and other particles shed from the eyelid including flaking that can mount up in the tear film. Abnormal tear film restricts eyelids to function normally and interferes with the lubrication. This condition can cause irritation in the eyes further leading to dryness.
  4. Problem wearing contact lenses: Because it interferes with eye lids’ lubrication, there can be issues wearing contact lenses.
  5. Chalazion: A Chalazion occurs when there is an impasse in one of the small oil glands at the end of the eyelid, just at the rear of the eyelashes. The gland is prone to get affected by the bacteria, which causes swollen, red colored eye. Chalazion is more active on the inside of the eyelid.
  6. Cornea injury: Frequent irritation from inflamed eyelids may cause an ulcer to grow on the cornea. Inadequate tearing could influence a corneal infection.

Tests and diagnosis

Various tests and examinations are performed to diagnose Blepharitis including:

  1. Eyelid examination: Your eye specialist will closely examine eye lids and eyes. He/she may bring forth a magnifying glass to get a closer and clear look.
  2. Washing skin for testing: In some cases, your eye specialist will use a swab to collect a sample of oil or dust that accumulates on your eyelid. This sample is to check whether allergy is caused by bacteria or fungi.

Nature of this disease is it rarely disappears totally. However, you can easily manage the symptoms with rinsing your eyes with warm water, applying a warm compress etc. before booking an appointment with the doctor.


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