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Eyelid Inflammation (Blepharitis) (cont.)

What Tests Do Health Specialists Use to Diagnose Blepharitis?

Your ophthalmologist or primary-care physician usually diagnoses this condition after a careful history and an examination of your eyes and eyelids.

The exam usually consists of checking the vision after which the lids are examined, usually using the slit-lamp (microscope) if an ophthalmologist is consulted (the primary-care physician doesn't use a microscope).

Other diseases may affect your eyelids, so some of the questions or the examination may be focused on other parts of your body, as well as any medications, such as chemotherapeutic agents or antidepressants, that you are taking. The work environment, including exposure to any chemicals, may also be explored.

Occasionally cultures are taken -- swabbing the discharge and sending this to the laboratory to look for specific organisms. This is usually reserved for infections that don't respond to the usual medications.

If it is suspected that the blepharitis is related to or caused by a systemic disease, a more complete evaluation by your primary-care physician may be indicated.

In some cases, an allergy evaluation may be required.

What Are Blepharitis Home Remedies? Is Blepharitis Contagious?

Patient Comments

Good eyelid care is usually sufficient for treatment. Until this condition is cleared, you should refrain from using eye makeup or wearing contact lenses. Your lenses should be placed in a clean case with clean disinfectant solution. Daily eyelid care may be required after the initial episode has cleared.

  • Apply warm moist compresses to your eyelids for 10-20 minutes four times per day to cleanse them and to reduce discomfort. If you want to keep the compresses warm for a longer period of time, you may want to place a small hot water bottle over the compress. Using a clean wash towel for each cleansing is important. Be careful to avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes.
  • Using a cotton swab, carefully cleanse the lid margins with a swab moistened with dilute baby shampoo or a baby body wash solution in the morning and at bedtime.
  • Artificial tears may also make the eyes feel more comfortable.
  • Gentle massage of the lid margins two to three times a day is helpful. Wash off the lids several times a day. Try gently to remove the crusts without damaging the eyelids.
  • Do not share eye makeup or eyedrops, since you often touch the lids with the eye dropper and might give your infection to others.

Anytime that there is discharge from the lids, be careful to wash your hands often and not use other people's towels (or allow them to use yours). In most situations, there is minimal or no discharge, and the blepharitis is not contagious, except by direct contact via your hands or the secretions from the eye.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Eyelid Inflammation (Blepharitis):

Eyelid Inflammation (Blepharitis) - Treatment

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Blepharatis, Adult »

Blepharitis refers to a family of inflammatory disease processes of the eyelid(s).

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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