The term Blepharitis refers to eyelid inflammation that happens around the eyelash line. The reddened skin around the lash line is a common symptom, and it can occur both in and outside of the eyelids.
Blepharitis can be caused by a variety of different things. Some of the most common causes are allergies, bacteria, and issues with the eye's oil glands. Decreased tear production, a common condition seen in menopause and dry eyes, can contribute to the cause of blepharitis. Rosacea and some kinds of prescription drugs, particularly those used to treat severe acne, can also cause blepharitis.
The most common symptoms of blepharitis are itchiness, dry eyes, a burning sensation, and reddened skin around the eyelids and eyelash area. Some people can suffer from constant eye watering as well. In some cases, people suffering from blepharitis end up losing some of their eyelashes. In one type of blepharitis, small patches of scales may develop on the upper eyelid.
There are two basic categories for blepharitis. Anterior blepharitis impacts the exterior part of the eye, especially the area just beneath or around the upper and lower lash lines. Anterior blepharitis is typically caused by bacteria and skin conditions such as rosacea or seborrheic disease and decreased tear production. Posterior blepharitis affects the part of the eyelid that has direct contact with the eyeball. The cause of posterior blepharitis is often gland dysfunction within the eye, specifically the meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands are responsible for oil secretion and eye lubrication, but when they start to secrete too much oil it can cause this type of blepharitis.
Because blepharitis and pink eye can appear quite similar in terms of symptoms, they are often confused. However, they are completely separate conditions that each requires their own treatment approach.
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