There are various symptoms of blepharitis. As a rule, your eyes feel uncomfortable, gritty, red and irritable.
- Sticky, mucus in the morning
- Gritty or sand-like feeling
- Eyes feel tired all of the time
On the edges of the upper and lower eyelids lie some oil glands. They sit just behind the eyelashes and produce oil, an important part of your tears. Tears are a mixture of oil and water. The watery part comes from the lacrimal gland, which sits behind the brow bone. In blepharitis, the oil glands become blocked.
As a result, your tears are too thin, made up to a great extent of water. They run down your face rather than sitting on the front surface of the eye to moisturise them. This results in dry eye.
The oil builds up in the glands making the lid edges swell or become sore and red.
Dead skin cells mix with the thick oil droplets forming flakes. The flakes then move along the eyelashes and drop onto the eye further exacerbating the grittiness that you feel. You cannot see this when you look in the mirror, but your eye doctor can see it through the microscope.
Blepharitis is a clinical diagnosis. Your specialist Laura Crawley will give you a diagnosis when she examines your eyelids and eyes on the slit lamp microscope. She will also have a discussion about your symptoms. There is no blood test for blepharitis.