Blepharitis and Dry Eye

Posted by CooperVision on Friday, March 30, 2012

Blepharitis is a condition caused by an overgrowth of the bacteria that is normally found on the skin. It is usually due to seborrheic dermatitis or a bacterial infection, but both may be present at the same time. The cause is an overgrowth of the bacteria that is normally found on the skin. It affects the eyelid and symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itchiness

It can cause foreign body sensation (the feeling that there is something in your eye). Posterior blepharitis, also known as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), can be a source of tear film lipid deficiencies and water loss from the ocular surface. Since there is an overlap in symptoms of dry eye, it may be easy to confuse blepharitis with dry eye. An eye care practitioner can diagnose a patient accurately based on symptoms and when they occur.

Up to one half of all contact lens wearers report symptoms of dry eye. Chronic blepharitis and its overlap with dry eye is another cause for contact lens intolerance. However, contact lens wearers don’t have to suffer in silence. Both dry eye and blepharitis are treatable. For more information, contact an eye care professional here.


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