Columbia Eye Doctors
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Welcome to Eye Associates of Greater Columbia

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is inflammation of the edges of the eyelids, possibly with thickening scales, crusts, shallow ulcers, or redness and swelling at the edges of the eyelids. This inflammation is typically caused by certain infections, allergic reactions as well as certain skin conditions.

Eyelids can become irritated, red, and swollen and may also burn and itch - often it can produce the feeling that something is in the eye. A crust may form and stick tenaciously to the edges of the eyelid. When the crust is removed, the surface may bleed. During sleep, secretions dry and make the eyelids stick together.

Blepharitis can recur and at times be resistant to treatment. While inconvenient and unattractive, but usually does not damage the cornea or result in loss of vision. On occasion, ulcerative blepharitis can result in a loss of the eyelashes, scarring of the eyelid margins, and, rarely, even inflammation affecting the cornea.

Diagnosing and Treating Blepharitis

Diagnosis is usually based on the symptoms and the appearance of the eyelids. In addition, a sample of material can be taken from the edges of the eyelids which is cultured to identify the type of bacteria responsible and the antibiotics to which they are susceptible.

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