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blepharitis(blef?ar-i'tis) [? + itis, inflammation]
The eyelids become red, tender, and sore with sticky exudate and dry or waxy scales on the edges; there may be itching or burning, watering of the eyes and loss of eyelashes. Styes and meibomian cysts are associated with the condition.
The ulcerative type is usually caused by infection with staphylococci. The cause of the nonulcerative type is often unknown; it may be due to allergy or exposure to dust, smoke, or irritating chemicals, or in association with seborrhea of the scalp, eyebrows and ears.
Patients are taught how to keep their scalp, eyebrows, and eyelids clean and to avoid rubbing their eyes with their hands. Warm compresses four times a day, lid hygiene, and antibiotic ointment at bedtime will improve symptoms with two weeks. In severe cases, systemic antibiotics are indicated, with culture of the lid margin and antibiotic sensitivity studies are used to determine the appropriate regimen.