Blepharitis and Dry Eyes: Causes and Treatments

Traditional Definitions:

  • Blepharitis: An inflammatory condition of the eyelid that is usually associated with bacterial conditions.
  • Dry eyes: When an individual does not have enough of the right kind of tears to keep the eyes comfortable, it often results in dryness and may even cause damage to the surface of the eyeballs.


What causes blepharitis?

The causes of blepharitis will vary depending on its type, acute or chronic, which will be determined by which side of the eyelids does it affect.

Acute blepharitis

  • Ulcerative acute blepharitis: Caused due to bacterial infection. Viral causes such as infection with Herpes simplex is also possible.
  • Non-ulcerative acute blepharitis: Caused due to an allergic reaction. Reactions such as seasonal allergic blepharo-conjunctivitis and dermato-blepharo-conjunctivitis can be the causes.

Chronic blepharitis

  • Anterior blepharitis: Here the inflammation affects the skin around the base of the eyelashes.
  • Posterior blepharitis: Here the inflammation affects the Meibomian glands, which are found along the eyelid margins, behind the base of the eyelashes.
  • Mixed blepharitis: This is a combination of anterior and posterior blepharitis.

What causes dry eyes?

Below mentioned are some of the main causes that contribute to dry eyes:

  • Climatic conditions such as wind or dry air
  • Infrequent blinking of the eyelids
  • External irritants such as smoke, chemicals, and dust
  • Menopause
  • Health ailments such as arthritis
  • Eye injuries
  • Eye surgeries such as laser and cataract surgeries
  • Side-effects of certain medications
  • Excessive starring at digital screens such as computer and television
  • Ageing


For blepharitis

Although blepharitis cannot be cured and is a lifelong condition, its symptoms can be controlled preventing permanent scarring of the eyelid margins.

First and foremost, it is imperative to follow a disciplined eyelid hygiene routine on a daily basis. Your routine should include the following steps:

  • A warm compress – Place a warm cloth over closed eyelids, reheat the cloth with warm water when it cools down, then reapply the cloth for up to 10 minutes.
  • Cleaning of the eyelids – Soon after a warm compress is applied for up to 10 minutes, it is time now to cleanse the eyelids in order to wipe away any excess oil and to remove any crusts, bacteria or grime that may have built up.
  • Massaging the eyelids – A gentle massage helps to push away the oils out of the glands.  In order to effectively massage the eyelids, ensure that use a finger or a cotton-tipped swab to massage the margin of the eyelid using circular motions.

For dry eyes

Similarly, even in the case of dry eyes there is no permanent cure, but the condition can be effectively managed. Here, the aim of the treatment is to increase tear production, maintain tear film volume, or prevent excess loss of tears.

With the objective to achieve these aims, a range of choices can be used:

  • Use eye drops or ointments specifically formulated to lubricate the surface of the eye.
  • Apply heat to eyelids. It helps unblock the tear glands leading to increased tear formation. You can use specially designed eye mask for dry eyes available at checp rated that help heat the eyelids safely.
  • Special plugs are available to prevent excessive loss of tears. These plugs need to be inserted into the tear ducts.
  • Check with your physician about side-effects of any medicines that you are taking.
  • Make a conscious effort to blink more often.
  •  Place bowls of water around the room in order to boost the humidity of the air.
  • Consult your doctor for any surgeries, if required.

Final Call

Both the conditions, blepharitis and dry eyes, aren’t usually serious. It is, however, essential to identify and treat any abnormalities quickly. Always check with your physician when in doubt.

About the Author

Harvey Lee is a health and beauty blogger and works with various industry leading health and beauty product brands e.g. EyeSoothe: UK’s leading Eye Mask brand for various eye issues including Blepharitis, MGD, Dry eye syndrome and more. Harvey strongly recommends seeking physician opinion before replacing medication with natural or other non-clinical remedies.

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