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ABC Children's Eye Specialists

Ophthalmologists & Optometrists located in Avondale, Phoenix, & Mesa, AZ

If your child’s eyelids are red, sore, or crusty, they may have blepharitis or eyelid inflammation. At ABC Children’s Eye Specialists in Phoenix, Avondale, and Mesa, Arizona, the team of pediatric ophthalmologists and optometrists manage blepharitis with at-home care and medication, helping relieve your child’s symptoms and prevent the inflammation from returning. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.

Blepharitis Q & A

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a medical term for eyelid inflammation. It’s a common condition that affects people of all ages. It usually affects both eyelids at once.

Blepharitis is an uncomfortable condition and can be unsightly. Thankfully, it’s not contagious and rarely causes lasting vision or eyelid damage.

There are two types of blepharitis, categorized according to the part of the eyelids affected.

  • Anterior blepharitis - affects the front edge of your eyelids, where your eyelashes attach
  • Posterior blepharitis - affects the inner edge of your eyelids, where they touch your eyeballs

Symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Grittiness
  • Burning sensations
  • Excessive tear production
  • Itchiness
  • Red, swollen, or crusty eyelids
  • Dry eyes

Blepharitis ranges in severity. Some people only have minor symptoms. However, it can still lead to more serious complications, including blurry vision, loss of eyelashes, eye irritation, and infections of other eye tissue.

What causes blepharitis?

The cause of blepharitis depends on the type.

Anterior blepharitis

Anterior blepharitis usually results when the eyelids react to the presence of bacteria or to dandruff from your scalp and eyebrows. It also sometimes results from allergies or a mite infestation.

Posterior blepharitis

Posterior blepharitis is when the oil-producing glands at the base of the eyelashes clog, allowing bacteria to grow and irritate your eyes. Posterior blepharitis is also associated with skin conditions like rosacea and dandruff.

Often, your child can prevent bacterial overgrowth in their eyelids with good hygiene.

How is blepharitis treated?

Usually, blepharitis treatment involves keeping your child’s eyes clean and preventing crusts from forming on their eyes. In some cases, warm compresses to your child’s eyelids, then gently cleansing them, is enough to clear up the inflammation. This may involve using a prescription eyelid cleanser, over-the-counter cleaning pads, or diluted baby shampoo.

Your child may also benefit from artificial tear eye drops to lubricate their eyes. If your child’s blepharitis is caused by dandruff or mites, they may need to wash their hair with shampoo to control these problems and stop the condition from returning.

In some cases, your child may need medicine to improve blepharitis and get the full benefit of good hygiene. Your child’s ABC Children’s Eye Specialists doctor may prescribe antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or drugs that affect the immune system.

For older children and teens, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing contact lenses or using eye makeup while treating blepharitis.

Schedule an appointment at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists online or over the phone today for comprehensive blepharitis treatment.