Blepharitis and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction


What is Blepharitis/Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

Blepharitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the eyelids.  The severity often fluctuates and it is known to contribute and exacerbate dry eye syndrome.   A recent large scale survey estimated the prevalence of blepharitis at close to 80% making it the most common disorder seen by Ophthalmologists and Optometrists.

What are the symptoms of Blepharitis?

Symptoms of blepharitis include a burning or itching sensation, morning lid crusting and stickiness, and foreign body sensation.

Is Blepharitis dangerous?

Yes in severe cases Blepharitis can be vision threatening.  As the meibomian glands get permanently destroyed there is progressive instability to the tear film and continued corneal dryness and eventual scarring.

How do you treat Blepharitis?

The most important thing is to get the oil flowing from the Meibomian glands.  Our typical starting regimen includes lid hygiene, heat, ocular massage, and artificial tears.  In more advanced cases we sometimes recommend a short course of topical Azasite, topical steroid, oral Doxycyline and or increased intake of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Azasite and Doxyxcyline have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties thereby treating the eyelid inflammation.  Increased consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve tear film stability in recent trials.

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