Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Blepharitis usually involves the part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow and affects both eyelids.

Blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of the eyelashes become clogged. This leads to irritated and red eyes. Several diseases and conditions can cause blepharitis.

Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that is difficult to treat. Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and may be unsightly. But it usually doesn’t cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it’s not contagious.

Blepharitis symptoms and signs include:

Watery eyes, red eyes, gritty, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, eyelids that appear greasy, itchy eyelids, red, swollen eyelids, flaking of the skin around the eyes, crusted eyelashes upon awakening, eyelid sticking, more frequent blinking, sensitivity to light, eyelashes that grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes), loss of eyelashes.


The exact cause of blepharitis isn’t clear. It may be associated with one or more factors, including:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis — dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
  • A bacterial infection
  • Clogged or malfunctioning oil glands in your eyelids
  • Rosacea — a skin condition characterized by facial redness
  • Allergies, including allergic reactions to eye medications, contact lens solutions or eye makeup
  • Eyelash mites or lice


Trichiasis, Scarring, Tearing or Dry eyes, Chalazion, Injury to the cornea.


Tests and procedures used to diagnose blepharitis include:

  • Examining your eyelids.
  • Swabbing skin for testing.


Self-care measures, such as washing your eyes and using warm compresses, may be the only treatment necessary for most cases of blepharitis

Medications that fight infection or to control inflammation.