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What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelids.


What causes blepharitis?

Blepharitis is caused by an increased concentration of bacteria in the eyelids.

There is usually an underlying dry eye condition which allows this, as a healthy tear film washes away the bacteria and lubricates the surface of the eye. 


What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

  • The eyes feel sandy and gritty, especially in the mornings.

  • The tears are salty, so they sting and burn the eyes.

  • The eyes are sensitive and irritable and the lid margins look red.

How can I treat blepharitis?

  • TheraTears Sterilid Eye Cleaner is a foaming cleanser which can be used on surface of the eyes. It contains a plant oil, linolol, which has antibacterial action. The foam can and should be used daily and must be washed off after use

  • Theratears Sterilid Spray contains dilute hypochlorous acid, a substance found in our body's own white cells that is used to fight infection. The spray can be left on.

  • Antibiotic drops (Chlorsig or Ciloxan) may be used to clear the excessive bacteria in the beginning

  • Anti-inflammatory drops (FML or Maxidex) may also be used to reduce the inflammation. These are short term options as they can have serious side effects

  • Manuka honey drops (Optimel) have an antibacterial action and are helpful for some, but they sting

  • If resistant to all these treatments, long term low dose oral antibiotics like Doxycycline may be tried.

  • The key to treatment is to maintain it even once the inflammation has settled, or blepharitis tends to be a relapsing, recurring condition.


The underlying dry eye condition, which is usually present, also needs to be treated, or the blepharitis will recur.


This is best achieved with the use of regular:

  • Preservative free lubricant eye drops, which dilute the salty tears, lubricate the eye and help the ocular surface regenerate, and

  • Tears again spray, which coats the tear film with a fatty layer, stabilising the tears and reducing evaporation. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Please Contact the Clinic if you would like to know more.

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