Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids. It can make eyelids red and crusty and make your eyes feel irritated, itchy and hot. The symptoms tend to be worse in the morning.

Blepharitis may affect the edge of the eyelids or the glands within the lids which produce part of your tears, or both. It can occasionally be caused by bacterial infection, which may require antibiotics. Your optometrist will advise you if this is necessary.

Lid hygiene

The aim of lid hygiene is to clean the lids and over time reduce inflammation. It is usually successful but you may need this treatment for several months. Blepharitis is a long term condition with no known cure so may come back once treatment stops.

The steps to follow are:

Warm compresses

Heat warms the blocked glands, and softens the crusts making them easier to remove. To do this use either a flannel or special heat pack which your optometrist can advise you on. Soak the flannel in hot, (not boiling) water and place it over your closed eyes for 5 minutes.

Lid scrubs

Cleaning the edge of the lids removes the crusts. There are solutions available which are formulated for use on the eyes. Your optometrist can advise you which product is best for you.


Using drops or ointment regularly, 4 times a day minimum, can improve comfort. Drops are especially important on waking and before sleep. Your optometrist will advise you on the best product for you.


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