Ross' Blog


Blepharitis is an extremely common and potentially chronic eye care problem encountered by eye doctors. Blepharitis is defined as an inflammation of the eyelash follicles caused because of an overgrowth of normal skin based bacteria. This can be the result of excessive oil production around the eyelids, which provides the perfect home for bacteria to flourish.

Symptoms of blepharitis included crusty eyelids, itchy burning eyes and red swollen look eyelid margins. Left untreated, blepharitis can cause hordeolums (styes), eye irritation, eye infections and madarosis (loss of eyelashes). Blepharitis can be diagnosed during a routine eye exam with your eye doctor after a detailed examination of your eyelids and eyelashes.

Treatment for blepharitis involves daily cleaning of your eyelid area to remove any build up of oil or overgrowth of bacteria. Patients are directed to perform warm compresses over their closed eyes to loosen the bacteria and melt the oil. Lid scrubs are then performed in the shower with diluted baby shampoo or commercial made products such as Lid Care Solution or Lid Care Towelettes. In more severe cases, topical antibiotic ointments such as Besivance, Erythromycin or Bacitracin (not available in Canada but commonly used in the United States) may be required. Topical antibiotics are often used on patients prior to eye surgery to minimize the risk of a post-operative eye infection. 

Unfortunately, blepharitis can be a chronic eye condition, but with continual treatment the long-term prognosis is excellent. If you suspect that you suffer from blepharitis then book an eye examination with Dr. Ross McKenzie.