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The medical term is…


But it is often known as…

Inflammation (redness and soreness) of the eyelids


Blepharitis (pronounced blef-ar-eye-tiss) affects lots of people. It causes your eyelids to become inflamed, making them sore, red and swollen. Even after getting better, it might come back again. Your eyelids could become infected, but keeping your eyes clean and healthy should really help.

How does the world look to me?

If you have blepharitis, it won’t damage your eyes and usually won’t damage your sight. Some people find that light can hurt their eyes, or that their vision is a bit blurry.

How do I look to the world?

People might notice that your eyelids look sore, red and crusty.

Why did I get it?

No one really knows why some people get blepharitis. People with skin conditions like eczema get it more.

What causes it?

Inside your eyelids are glands which make oil to keep your eyes moist. If the glands become blocked, it can lead to dry and sore eyelids. In other cases, it can be caused by germs which infect your eyelids.

How can the doctor tell?

If you have inflamed eyelid edges and crusty eyelashes, it’s a sign that you probably have blepharitis. A doctor will check your eyes to make sure. They might use a microscope to get a closer look.

Getting it sorted

Good lid cleaning (called “lid hygiene”) will help prevent blepharitis. A doctor or nurse will tell you the best way to keep your eyelids clean. In some cases, your doctor will give you antibiotic ointment, eye drops or medicine to use.

Article approved by Moorfields Children’s Information Group

Last Reviewed: May 2010 Date for review: May 2012

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