Blepharitis Assessment

Eyelid margin inflammation management advice and treatment options .

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Blepharitis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the eyelids, secondary to an overgrowth of bacteria on the eyelashes. This can appear like dandruff. It may cause a red eye, painful eye and watering which can affect your quality of life. If untreated, it can lead to eyelash loss and recurrent eye infections.

The upper and lower eyelids have a number of Meibomian glands, who’s entrances are in close proximity to the base of the eyelashes. The glands secrete lipid (needed for healthy tears) to protect the ocular surface. Meibomian gland disease (MGD) is an umbrella term which describes a group of conditions affecting the Meibomian glands. It can be associated with other medical conditions such as rosacea, acne, seborrheic dermatitis and poor eyelid hygiene.

Symptoms of blepharitis and meibomian gland disease include red eye, burning, stickiness, excessive watering, discomfort, pain and foreign body sensation. They can also cause excessive eyelid closure or twitching, known as ‘blepharospasm’.

The diagnosis of blepharitis is made by performing a full eye examination on the slit lamp by an ophthalmologist. This includes fluorescein dye assessment of the ocular surface, eversion of the eyelids and measurement of the intraocular pressure, alongside a full medical history.

There is no cure, per se, for blepharitis, and so the mainstay of treatment at all stages is lid hygiene to control the build-up of bacteria. Other treatments such as antibiotics, steroids and lubricants may also be necessary depending on the severity of the problem.

Read blog where Miss Elizabeth Hawkes shares her top-tips for eyelash hygiene with Glamour Magazine.

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Dr Elizabeth Hawkes

Elizabeth Hawkes is a Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon, specialising in blepharoplasty surgery, eye health and advanced facial aesthetics.

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