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Blepharitis is an inflammation of the margins of the eyelids. It is a common condition and is usually present in both eyes. It can occur in children and adults of any age. The condition appears in two forms – anterior blepharitis and posterior blepharitis.  

Signs and symptoms

The main signs and symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • a feeling of "something in the eye" 
  • excessive or frothy tears
  • itchiness
  • excessive blinking
  • photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • crusty or sticky eyelashes, particularly in the morning
  • sore or painful eyelids
  • redness and thickening of the eyelids
  • ulceration
  • loss of eyelashes.


Your ophthalmologist will ask you about your symptoms and medical history, and carefully examine your eyes. The examina-tion may include a vision test and an assessment with a slit-lamp (a microscope with a light attached). Usually, this is enough to diagnose blepharitis and plan your treatment.

Some images and information provided courtesy of RANZCO and Mi-tec Medical Publishing. The complete RANZCO patient education pamphlet is available from your ophthalmologist.