Blepharitis is an inflammatory skin condition that affects the eyelids. It can cause symptoms such as discomfort and dry eyes. In this blog, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this condition.


Blepharitis can occur in two parts of the eyelid: 

Anterior Blepharitis affects the front part of the eyelid. This condition is usually caused by bacteria, dandruff, or microscopic mites called demodex. While these irritants are common on the face and skin, they can create a problem if they become excessive. 

Posterior Blepharitis affects the back part of the eyelid, where the lid touches the eye. This type of blepharitis is caused when the oil glands in the eyelid do not function properly, creating inflammation and allowing bacteria to grow. Posterior blepharitis is usually a result of an underlying skin condition such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis.


Symptoms of blepharitis may include:

  • Red, itchy or swollen eyelids
  • Crusty, greasy or scaly eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Feeling like there is something in the eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision

Blepharitis can also lead to other conditions such as:

  • Stye – an infected oil gland that causes a red, painful bump on the eyelid
  • Chalazion – a firm bump on the eyelid that may occur with or without pain
  • Dry Eye – a condition in which the eyes are not properly moisturized due to poor tear film quality. For more information about dry eye, read our blog on the topic here.


The primary treatment for blepharitis is cleaning the eyelid. There are several over the counter products that can be used to keep the lids clean, such as baby shampoo or prepackaged eyelid wipes. Hot compresses may be used to loosen the oil glands. If symptoms are severe, steroid or antibiotic medications may be prescribed. If you have symptoms of blepharitis, it is important to speak with your eye doctor about your treatment options. Some blepharitis symptoms may be indicative of other problems. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. We hope you found this information helpful. New blog posts are added weekly on our website, To schedule an appointment for an exam, please call or text (907) 328-2920. 


Written by: Gina Stafford COA, LDO, ABOC

Sources: National Institute of Health National Eye Institute Blepharitis

Posted in: Alaska Ophthalmology, Dry Eye Syndrome, Eye Doctor in Alaska, Eye Health Guide, Eyes, Patient Education

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