Blepharitis is probably one of the most common eye diseases in Iceland. It is difficult to estimate the rate of people with blepharitis, as the disease often causes minor symptoms. But for some, blepharitis can cause symptoms that are extremely uncomfortable and have a profound effect on people's daily lives.

Blepharitis is usually a benign disease, but in exceptional cases it may cause eye damage and even permanent loss of vision. In these cases, irritation from the lids and surface of the eye will be so severe that the mucous membranes of the eye grow into the cornea or the cornea of the eye is partially covered and damaged.

There is little known about the cause of the disease, but it is believed to be an allergy to mites we all have on our skin. Blepharitis causes chronic inflammation of the lids, with redness and swelling which often interferes with the activity of the sebaceous gland in the lids. These glands create fat that forms the lubricant in our tears, the fats allow the tears to stay on the eyes and lubricate them sufficiently. If the quality of these fats is insufficient, the tears evaporate quickly. Therefore, dry eyes are often accompanied by blepharitis.

blepharitis may also cause chalazion, which in children often occurs as a stye. Both are clogged sebaceous glands that often swell and express, causing frequent discomfort.

Key characteristics

Burning and foreign body sensation “something is in the eye”
Blurred vision
Red or irritable eyes
Redness of the lids
Discomfort in the eyes with computer work, reading or watching television
Swelling of the lids
Often it is difficult to distinguish between symptoms of blepharitis and dry eyes. However, the burning may be more pronounced in blepharitis than in dry eyes.

However, it is important to emphasize that dry eyes and blepharitis often occur simultaneously, so it is often necessary to treat both.

What are the causes?

As mentioned above, there is a lot of concern about the cause and the origin of this disease. It appears to be more common in blondes, red heads and those who are especially prone to acne. At some point, they likely develop and allergy or reaction, probably against the bacteria and / or mites we all have on our skin.

Some medicines may cause the development of a reaction, such as some anti-cancer drugs, Accutane, and anticoagulants.

Blepharitis is very common in various skin diseases, e.g. seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea, as the reactions are only the skin folds around the eyes. At the same time, studies have shown correlation of pancreatic syndrome with blepharitis syndrome.


Treatment of inflammation is usually not complicated, but it requires a lot of washing and consistency. For a long time there was only a washing treatment, then the eyelids were treated with heat.

But with the emergence of ophthalmologic products, more treatments have become available to treat just the eyelids and the skin around, and it is stronger against the mites. These products are available in the forms of gels, foam and wipes. These treatments are made for people with blepharitis to use at home.

Most of the time, blepharitis is not due to infections and therefore is not infectious.

In addition, it is recommended to take a fish oil or omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

Occasionally, other treatment options are used such as antibiotics, but in most cases the eye care products: the gel, the foam and / or the wipes – is sufficient.

Consistent lid hygiene is important.

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