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Blepharitis, also known as granulated eyelids, is an eye condition that causes the eyelids to become inflamed. Symptoms include itchy, watery eyes and the sensation that there is something in the eye. Treatment options vary, and can include medications, proper eye hygiene, and treatment for related conditions, such as scalp dandruff.

What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a common eye condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. Another name for the condition is granulated eyelids.

What Causes It?

Blepharitis occurs in two forms:
  • Anterior (affects the front of the eyelid)
  • Posterior (affects the inner eyelid).
The causes for each of these forms differ. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are:
  • Bacteria (Staphylococcus)
  • Scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).
Two skin disorders can cause posterior blepharitis:
  • Acne rosacea, which leads to red and inflamed skin
  • Scalp dandruff (seborrheic dermatitis).
(Click Causes of Blepharitis for more information.)

Symptoms of Blepharitis

A person with blepharitis may experience a number of symptoms. Some of the common blepharitis symptoms include:
  • Itching or burning eyes
  • Mild pain
  • Feeling like there is something in the eye (foreign body sensation)
  • Tearing
  • Crusting around the eyes on awakening.
A person with these possible symptoms does not necessarily have blepharitis. Other eye problems can also cause these symptoms. Anyone with potential symptoms should see an eye care professional.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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