Blepharitis is a condition that refers to inflammation of the eyelids. With this condition, dandruff-like scales appear on the eyelashes. When the eyelids become inflamed, the eyes can appear red and irritated and often feel gritty or dry. While the symptoms can be bothersome, blepharitis is not sight threatening.
Blepharitis is frequently encountered and responds well to:
- Warm compresses
- Eyelid scrubs with baby shampoo
- Mild antibiotic ointments (in some cases)
Chalazion and Hordeolum (Styes):
Chalazion and hordeolum, commonly referred to as “styes”, are red bumps that occur on the eyelid margin due to blockage of oil glands. When an oil gland is blocked, its contents cannot escape and the gland becomes inflamed, swollen and tender. It is rare for the gland itself to become infected. Chalazion and hordeolum usually resolve on their own, but medical and or surgical treatment can hasten the recovery.
Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye”, refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva, the translucent, outer most tissue on the front surface of the eye. Conjunctivitis is a non-specific term, as it can be caused by any inflammatory condition, including:
- Viral infection
- Bacterial infection
Regardless of the cause, conjunctivitis often causes ocular redness, eye irritation, eyelid swelling, tearing, itching and discharge. Treatment for conjunctivitis depends largely on the cause of the inflammation. See the chart below for further differentiation between the types of conjunctivitis.