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Eyelid Inflammation (Blepharitis) (cont.)

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Blepharitis?

Seek medical attention from your primary-care physician or your ophthalmologist when the irritation is bothersome and not improving with conservative use of warm compresses. It would be unusual to go to an emergency room for management of blepharitis.

Since blepharitis does not affect vision generally, any associated changes in vision (they would probably be unrelated) require immediate evaluation by your ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery).

Gradual vision changes that occur over several days should also be evaluated by your ophthalmologist, but these gradual vision changes are usually not an emergency. They are rarely caused by the blepharitis.

In general, call your ophthalmologist if you develop these symptoms:

  • eye pain,
  • change in vision,
  • new or changed symptoms (Medications for blepharitis may cause side effects.),
  • symptoms that last for more than two weeks, or
  • a sore on the eyelid that persists or increases in size, especially if it is red, bleeding, and not healing.

If you cannot reach your ophthalmologist and you experience any acute (sudden) change in your vision, go to a hospital's emergency department for evaluation (rarely necessary with blepharitis since this is typically not an emergency and usually does not affect vision). Sudden loss of vision is a true medical emergency. This is rarely caused by or related to blepharitis but must be evaluated quickly.

Questions to Ask the Doctor About Blepharitis

  • What is the cause of my symptoms?
  • How can I treat my condition now and prevent these symptoms from recurring in the future?
  • Will I develop any permanent vision loss from blepharitis? Essentially, this is never the case, except for some unusual causes.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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Blepharatis, Adult »

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

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