Seborrheic Blepharitis Definition

This relatively frequent disorder is characterized by scaly inflammation of the margins of the eyelids. Usually both eyes are affected.

Etiology: There are often several contributing causes. The constitution of the skin, seborrhea, refractive anomalies, hypersecretion of the eyelid glands, and external stimuli such as dust, smoke, and dry air in air-conditioned rooms often contribute to persistent chronic inflammation.

Symptoms and diagnostic considerations: The margins of the eyelids usually exhibit slight inflammatory changes such as thickening. The eyelashes adhere due to the increased secretion from the glands of the eyelids, and scaly deposits form (Fig. 2.12). The disorder will often be accompanied by chronic conjunctivitis.

Treatment: This depends on the cause of the disorder (see Etiology). The scales and crusts can usually be softened with warm olive oil and then easily removed with a cotton-tipped applicator. In more severe cases, recom-

— Seborrheic blepharitis.

— Seborrheic blepharitis.

Scaly Eyelids
Fig. 2.12 The margins of the eyelids are slightly reddened with adhesion of the eyelashes. Scaly deposits form along the margins of the eyelids.

mended treatment includes expressing the glands of the eyelid and local application of antibiotic ointment. Treatment with topical steroids may be indicated under certain conditions.

Prognosis: The prognosis is good although the clinical course of the disorder is often quite protracted.

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