Marginal blepharitis is a chronic inflammation of the edges (margins) of the eyelids. It is a common condition.
The eyelids contain special glands called sebaceous glands, which produce oily secretions. These secretions form an important part of the tear film. In blepharitis, these glands often become overactive and produce too much of these oily secretions, which become thick and turbid. This reduces the quality of the tears, which in turn, irritates the eyes. Scaly secretions form on the edges of the eyelids. Sometimes bacteria grow on these causing even more inflammation.
When people suffer from blepharitis, they may have varying symptoms. Many people have no symptoms at all. Others feel burning or itching. Often there is a feeling as if there is something in the eyes, like sand or gravel. The eyes may feel tired or weary. The symptoms are often worse at the end of the day or in situations where the eyes dry out more quickly. The eyelid margins may be red and appear inflamed. At times the eyes themselves may also become red and inflamed. Sometimes there are scales forming on the eyelid margin. These scales can be dry or greasy.
Often the changes that occur in the lid margin are just a reflection of changes that occur across the middle of the face. The skin on the prominence of the cheeks may be reddened with many little dilated blood vessels. When this is present the condition is called Acne Rosacea. Sometimes other changes can occur as a result of chronic blepharitis. The glands can be blocked and swell to form a cyst called a chalazion. These are often red, hot and angry initially.People with blepharitis are also prone to getting conjunctivitis. Rarely ulcers may form on the surface of the eye. These can be very painful. You should contact your doctor if you have blepharitis and develop a more severe pain in your eye.
Treatment of Blepharitis
With some simple measures, it is possible to reduce the symptoms of blepharitis. It is important to realise that Blepharitis is a chronic condition that cannot be cured by any particular treatment. It will come and go and you may never be completely free of symptoms. The aim of treatment is to minimise discomfort.