ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you have blepharitis, you may also experience:
- Eyelash problems. Blepharitis can cause your eyelashes to fall out or grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes).
- Eyelid skin problems. Scarring may occur on your eyelids in response to long-term blepharitis.
- Excess tearing or dry eyes. Abnormal oily secretions and other debris shed from the eyelid, such as flaking associated with dandruff, can accumulate in your tear film — the water, oil and mucus solution that forms tears. Abnormal tear film interferes with the healthy lubrication of your eyelids. This can irritate your eyes and cause dry eyes or excessive tearing.
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses. Because blepharitis can affect the amount of lubrication in your eyes, wearing contact lenses may be uncomfortable.
- Sty. A sty is an infection that develops near the base of the eyelashes. The result is a painful lump on the edge (usually on the outside part) of your eyelid. A sty is usually most visible on the surface of the eyelid.
- Chalazion. A chalazion occurs when there's a blockage in one of the small oil glands at the margin of the eyelid, just behind the eyelashes. The gland can become infected with bacteria, which causes a red, swollen eyelid. Unlike a sty, a chalazion tends to be most prominent on the inside of the eyelid.
- Chronic pink eye. Blepharitis can lead to recurrent bouts of pink eye (conjunctivitis).
- Injury to the cornea. Constant irritation from inflamed eyelids or misdirected eyelashes may cause a sore (ulcer) to develop on your cornea. Insufficient tearing could predispose you to a corneal infection.
- Preferred Practice Patterns Guidelines. Blepharitis — Limited Revision. San Francisco, Ca.: American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2011. http://one.aao.org/ce/practiceguidelines/ppp_content.aspx?cid=500cd9ca-173c-4c31-b6ea-a258e3549474. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Shtein RM. Blepharitis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Bernardes TF, et al. Blepharitis. Seminars in Ophthalmology. 2010;25:79.
- Facts about blepharitis. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/blepharitis/blepharitis.asp. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Blepharitis. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4718.xml. Accessed Dec. 23, 2011.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., Dec. 31, 2011.