The folds of skin that cover your eyes are called eyelids. Your eyelids protect your eyes from external debris and injury. Your eyelids contain hairs (eyelashes) in small hair follicles on the edge of the lids. These follicles contain oil glands, which can become irritated and inflame your eyelid.
Inflammation of the eyelash follicles is also called blepharitis.


The exact cause of blepharitis isn’t clear. Factors associated with the development of blepharitis include:
• Seborrheic dermatitis — dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
• A bacterial infection
• Malfunctioning oil glands in your eyelid
• 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
• Certain medication — the severe acne medication isotretinoin (Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret) can lead to an increase in bacteria on the eyelids and can affect tear production
Blepharitis may be caused by a combination of factors.

Types of Eyelid Inflammation:
There are two types of eyelid inflammation: anterior and posterior.
Anterior eye inflammation occurs on the outside of your eye, where the eyelashes are located. Dandruff on your eyebrows and allergic reactions in your eyes can cause anterior eyelid inflammation.
Posterior eyelid inflammation occurs on the inner corners of your eyes. This form of inflammation is usually caused by a malfunctioning oil gland in your eyelash follicles.


• Feeling like something is in your eye
• Burning of the eye
• Sensitivity to light
• Red and swollen eyes or eyelids
• Blurry vision
• Dry eyes
• Crusting of the eyelashes

Diagnosing Eyelid Inflammation
Tests and procedures used to diagnose blepharitis include:
• Examining your eyelids. Your doctor will carefully examine your eyelids and your eyes. He or she may use a special magnifying instrument during the examination.
• Swabbing skin for testing. In certain cases, your doctor may use a swab to collect a sample of the oil or crust that forms on your eyelid. This sample can be analyzed for bacteria, fungi or evidence of an allergy.

Treating Eyelid Inflammation
Besides washing your eyelids gently with a warm towel, you may need to take other measures to clean your eyes and reduce the inflammation. Your treatment will depend on whether an infection is causing your inflammation.
Steroid Treatment
If no infection is present, your doctor may prescribe steroids, eye drops, or ointment to reduce the inflammation. He or she may also prescribe lubricating eye drops to stop the irritation caused by dry eyes.
Eyelid infections can be treated with a course of antibiotics. Antibiotic medication can be prescribed in pill, ointment, or liquid drop form. Drops are used when the infection has spread beyond the eyelid.

One complication of eyelid inflammation is eyelash loss. This can be caused by scarring in the hair follicles—scarring can make the lashes to grow out incorrectly. Extensive scarring can also prevent eyelash growth.
Common short-term complications of eyelid inflammation include:
• dry eye
• pink eye
Long-term complications may include:
• scarring on the eyelid
• a stye (an infected lump that appears on the base of your eyelashes)
• chronic pink eye
The oil glands on your eyelids can also become infected and blocked, which can lead to an infection under your eyelids. An untreated eye infection can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss. Scarring under the eyelids can scratch the eye’s delicate surface and cause ulcers to form.



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