​Blepharitis

Your eye lids are folds of skin protecting the eyes from dirt, debris and injury. The eye lids also contain oil glands in the hair follicles that make up your eye lashes. Irritation or inflammation of the eye lids near the eye lashes may sometimes occur, leading to a disorder known as blepharitis or eye lid inflammation. This is a common eye disorder which manifests as irritation and inflammation of the eye lids due to an allergy, infection or a skin disease. It usually affects the part of the eye lid where the eye lashes grow, when oil glands of the eye lids get clogged.

Blepharitis may develop due to a bacterial infection in the eye, hormone imbalance, allergies or malfunctioning oil glands. It can also occur as an allergic reaction to certain make-up products, having eye lash mites or lice or as side effect to a medication.

Blepharitis can take place along the front of the eye (anterior blepharitis) or within the eye lids (posterior blepharitis). You may develop both types of blepharitis at the same time, though it may be more severe on one side than on the other.

If left untreated, blepharitis may lead to other complications with your eyes, such as dry eyes, scarring on your eyes, falling out of eye lashes, recurrent conjunctivitis, <corneal infections> or sty (which is an eye infection leading to a lump at the base of the eye lashes).​​​

Irritation and inflammation of the eye lids due to blepharitis is a noticeable symptom of this disorder. Other signs and symptoms include:

  • Itching and redness in the eye lids.

  • Swollen eye lids.

  • Burning or stinging sensation in the eye.

  • Feeling that there is something in the eye.

  • Dry eyes.

  • Flaking of skin around the eyes.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Sensitivity to light.

  • Red and watery eyes.

  • A crust on the eye lashes.

  • Oily eye lids.

  • Frequent blinking.

  • Falling eye lashes​.

Keeping your eyes clean will help you manage some of these symptoms. However, if your symptoms are getting worse, interfere with your vision and affect your ability to perform daily tasks, you must get yourself evaluated by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). 

The team of ophthalmologists working with the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital is specially trained in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders, including blepharitis. You can be assured of receiving multidisciplinary healthcare under one roof from our dedicated staff who works tirelessly to give you the complete healthcare services as per your need.​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

After asking questions about your symptoms, your eye specialist will conduct a detailed physical examination of the eye to diagnose this condition. Specialized magnifying tools are used to examine your eye lid and identify signs of inflammation or infection. This will also help the doctor rule out the possibility of any other eye disorders.

At times, test of the fluid discharge from the eye may also be requested to look for specific microorganisms, especially in cases of infections that do not respond to usual medications. A test of your vision may also be conducted to assess any changes in your ability to see.

Sometimes, allergy tests will help identify if any allergy-based disorder may be causing symptoms of swollen red eyes.​

In the attempts to manage the symptoms, your doctor may ask you to take certain at-home measures. Examples of these include:

  • Gently cleaning your eyes with a warm compress followed by a moistened wash cloth and rinsing with warm water.

  • Controlling dandruff and eye lash mites which could contribute to blepharitis.

  • Avoiding the use of make-up to allow the eye to heal.

In case these measures are not helpful in providing relief from the symptoms of blepharitis, your doctor may prescribe medications to control the infection and inflammation. 

Your doctor may also refer you to a skin specialist working with the Teeth and Skin Service Line of The Aga Khan University Hospital for treating underlying skin diseases which could be causing blepharitis​.

Blepharitis is a chronic eye condition and usually cannot be completely cured. Maintaining good hygiene of the eyes, frequently replacing contact lenses, removing makeup before bed time and replacing make-up products regularly are some steps you can take to manage your symptoms and prevent recurrent occurrence of the same. ​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.​



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider. ​