About Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a long term inflammation of the eyelids causing redness of the lids, eyelid crusting, flaking, itching eyes and red eyes. It doesn’t normally cause serious damage to the eyes but it can be very uncomfortable. Some people have it as a temporary flare-up which, once resolved, does not reoccur but for many it is a long term condition that has to be managed on an ongoing basis. 

It can occur in anyone but is more common as we get older and it is commonly associated with dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction. The crusts and flakes prevent the oily liquid secreted from the lids flowing into the tears. This means the tears evaporate quickly from the eyes and make them feel dry and sore. There are two main types:

Anterior blepharitis 

When the front part of the eyelids becomes sore, this can be caused by an infection, allergy or a general sensitivity to bacteria present on the eyelids. It can also be associated with some scalp conditions, such as very dry or oily skin and dandruff. 

Posterior blepharitis 

Also known as meibomian gland dysfunction is when the glands that make the oily part of your tears become blocked.

Both types of blepharitis can cause dry eye or make it worse if you already have it. Many people will have a combination of blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye.


What can I do to help?

  • Lid cleansers such as impregnated wipes, gels, foams or solutions and mild lid massages (to clean the lid crusts and squeeze out any solid secretions that are clogged in the glands). You can read more in our buying guide 'How to select the best Lid Care product'.
  • Dry eye drops and gels to help relieve the symptoms of soreness and irritation in the eyes. You can read more in our buying guide 'How to choose Eye Drops'.
  • Omega 3 supplements to improve the quality of meibum. You can read more in our buying guide 'Supplements for Dry Eyes'.
  • Heat treatments such as eye masks and goggles can improve blepharitis by gently warming the oily liquid in the glands. This helps to release it and improve the quality of the tears. Many were developed by ophthalmologists and can be re-used hundreds of times. You can read more in our buying guide 'How to choose a Heat Mask'.
  • Manuka honey drops or gel.
  • Topical or oral antibiotics are sometimes necessary in severe cases.


To help prevent the symptoms recurring continue with the treatment daily. 


Blepharitis videos and downloads


What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis causes eyelids to become red, swollen and inflamed. It doesn’t normally cause serious damage to the eyes, but it can be very uncomfortable. It tends to be a long-term condition, which means you’re likely to need ongoing treatment.

This fact sheet produced by the Association of Optometrists (AOP) helps give you the facts about blepharitis.


BlephEx treatment

BlephEx is a revolutionary, patented, in-practice treatment used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.

Properly performed, BlephEx will reduce or alleviate chronic symptoms. Treatments are typically repeated at regular monthly intervals depending on the severity of the disease.


What is blepharitis and how is it treated?

Blepharitis is the inflammation of the eyelids and is a common eye condition, particularly in children.

Dr Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, a leading ophthalmologist, explains what blepharitis is and her best advice for managing it.

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