Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids, occurring particularly at the lid margins. It is a common disorder and may be associated with a low-grade bacterial infection or a generalized skin condition.
Blepharitis occurs in two forms: anterior blepharitis and posterior blepharitis.
Anterior blepharitis affects the front of the eyelids, usually near the eyelashes. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria and a skin disorder called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes itchy, flaky red skin.
Posterior blepharitis affects the part of the eyelid that comes in contact with the eye and is usually caused by problems with the oil glands in the lid margin. Posterior blepharitis is more common than anterior blepharitis and often affects people with a rosacea.
Regardless of which type of blepharitis you have, you will probably have such symptoms as eye irritation, burning, tearing, foreign body sensation, crusty debris, dryness and red eyelid margins.
It is important to see an eye doctor and get treatment. If your blepharitis is bacterial, possible long-term effects are thickened lid margins, dilated and visible capillaries, misdirected eyelashes, loss of eyelashes and a loss of the normal position of the eyelid margin against the eye. Blepharitis can also lead to styes and infections or erosions of the cornea.