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A stye, which is a hard, reddish bump on the edge of your upper or lower eyelid, may go away with simple homecare steps that your eye doctor recommends. It also may indicate a more serious condition called blepharitis. In addition to a stye, other symptoms may be present, as well. Most medical professionals recommend seeking treatment for a stye and any other eye or vision problems from an experienced ophthalmologist. The best eye doctors in New York City work at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants (VRMNY). They have three convenient locations: in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester. Don’t take chances with your or your family’s eyes, call today for an appointment.

What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammatory ocular disorder that affects your eyelids. It’s a fairly common problem, with about 30 million Americans suffering with the condition. The prevalence of blepharitis increases with age, especially when you reach middle-age. Blepharitis can make you feel uncomfortable, but it can be treated effectively by experts in eye care.


Although the condition is not contagious, the top-rated ophthalmologists at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York (VRMNY) recommend getting your eyes checked immediately if you have symptoms. Blepharitis doesn’t go away on its own and can become a recurring issue. If you don’t seek treatment, you may develop other serious problems, such as corneal disease.

What Are the Symptoms for Blepharitis?

This eyelid infection can manifest as burning or stinging eyes. You may also find that your eyes are itchy and watery when you have this condition. You can also have itchy eyelids with crusty formations on your eyelids or eyelashes, especially when you first wake up. Other symptoms you may experience from blepharitis include:

  • Greasy eyelids
  • Flaky skin around your eyes
  • Blinking more than usual
  • Blurred vision, which only clears up after continuous blinking
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness and swelling, often accompanied by tears that are foamy or with bubbles

Seek an expert diagnosis and immediate treatment when symptoms show up to avoid further complications. Complications are often worse than the blepharitis symptoms. They include:

  • A loss of eyelashes or misdirected eyelashes
  • Scarring on your eyelids
  • The edges of your eyelids turning inward or outward
  • A stye that may require stye surgery
  • A chalazion that can become a hard bump on your eyelid, requiring a chalazion removal treatment
  • Chronic pink eye
  • Dry eyelids and eyes
  • A conjunctival cyst
  • Inflammation of your eye tissue
  • Damage to your cornea that can turn into a serious issue requiring a cornea transplant

What Causes Blepharitis?

Bacteria is the main culprit behind an eyelid infection. Excessive amounts of bacteria — whether staphylococcal, streptococcal or Moraxella — found at the base of your eyelashes and at the edge of your eyelids can cause blepharitis. In addition to bacteria, viral infections like herpes simplex or herpes zoster also can cause itchiness, signaling to you that you’ve developed the condition.

Symptoms for Blepharitis

The appearance of demodex mites also may be the cause of your blepharitis. These are naturally present on eyelids and eyelashes in some people, especially as you age. These mites are beneficial as they eat dead skin cells. In large amounts, however, they can cause significant damage to your skin and eyes. You may even be at a high risk if you have other problems, such as:

  • Seborrheic dermatitis, which is dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows
  • Rosacea, a skin condition that causes bumps and redness
  • Clogged oil glands due to the irregular production of oil in the eyelids
  • Allergies from certain contact lens solutions, eye makeup or eye medications

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How Is Blepharitis Diagnosed?

To diagnose blepharitis, your NYC ophthalmologist may start with a comprehensive eye examination. This usually involves checking your eyelids, the lid margins, the surface of your eyeball and the base of your eyelashes. Finally, the quality of your tears may also need to be checked for any abnormal features like foaminess or bubbles.

Another factor that influences your diagnosis is the type of blepharitis you have. Anterior blepharitis affects the outer region of your eye, where the eyelash attaches to the eyelid. Posterior blepharitis affects the outer region of the inner eyelid margin, which is the part that touches your eyes. You can have both the types or either one.

During the examination, your eye doctors may be able to quickly figure out the root cause of the blepharitis based on your eyelid margin. Diagnoses include:

  • Staphylococcal blepharitis. This form of the disease causes your eyelids to keep sticking together; you also may have missing or misdirected eyelashes.
  • Seborrheic blepharitis. With this condition, your doctor observes dandruff-like flakes around the base of the eyelashes, as well as redness on your eyelids.
  • Meibomian blepharitis. This form of the condition causes clogged oil glands, along with redness in your eyelids and diminished tear quality.
  • Ulcerative blepharitis. This type of blepharitis is a more serious condition, as hard crusts form around your eyelashes. Removing the crusts can cause sores that bleed or ooze. In severe cases, your cornea also becomes inflamed.

How Is Blepharitis Treated?

Adopting a clean hygiene regimen is compulsory for blepharitis treatment. Using warm water and a mild baby cleanser that won’t sting your eyes, you have to remove all the crusts from your eyelids. Your ophthalmologist shows you how to gently rub a cloth or use a cotton swab, especially where your eyelashes and eyelids meet.

If your condition is severe, you may also need medications to fight infection and control the inflammation. Other treatments for blepharitis include:

  • Eye drops are sometimes prescribed to control the redness and swelling of your eyelids.
  • You can also get artificial tears in over-the-counter eye drops to combat the irritation.
  • If clogged oil glands are the cause, antibiotic eye drops help you manage the grease build-up.
  • Your ophthalmologist may recommend mite-destroying solutions if the microscopic bugs are present.
  • For those suffering from dandruff or rosacea, you may need to undergo treatments to eliminate the underlying problem.

The best way to resolve blepharitis efficiently and effectively is by making an appointment with one of the top ophthalmologists from the largest eye care practice in NYC. Contact the nearest office now to safeguard your eyes.

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Updated on May 17, 2022 by Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York

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