Blepharitis is a condition, fairly common in the UK, in which the edges of the eyelids become inflamed and visibly red. In most instances, the sufferer experiences the problem with both eyes, although sometimes the symptoms are more pronounced in one eye than the other. Usually, Blepharitis symptoms are at their worst at the start of the day.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

  • Sore, itching, inflamed eyelids
  • Sensation of eyelids sticking together
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Difficulty/discomfort on wearing contact lenses
  • Shedding of eyelashes
  • Abnormal eyelash growth
  • Swollen edges of eyelids
  • Burning feeling in the eyes
  • Crusty/greasy/gritty eyelashes

Your local optician will be able to help you if your basic eye-hygiene routine has not kept the symptoms under control and they persist. However, upon being told about this condition, many still ask, ‘What is blepharitis of the eye?”.  While your optician or GP is examining your eyes, don’t be afraid to ask – he or she will be able to tell you everything you need to know to treat it. Although it is generally a long-term condition, there is much that can be done to manage it, even though it can’t often be fully cured.

Your medical professional will be able to explain everything that’s required to keep it under control so that its impact on your life is negligible. However, even though it needn’t have any significant, negative consequences, it still needs to be addressed. Failure to do so can result in problems like permanent scarring of the rims of the eyelids.

Blepharitis in its mild form is thought to affect as many as one in three people in the UK, making it one of the most common eye disorders in the country. However, not everyone experiences the mild version – Blepharitis can actually range in severity from mild to acute to chronic and its causes are not always clear. It can strike at any age although its most common form is the chronic adult version.