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Blepharitis, Non-Infectious (Swollen Eyelids)

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Photo showing swollen eyelids in blepharitis. Courtesy Wikimedia

Swollen Eyelids in Blepharitis. Courtesy Wikimedia

What Is Non-Infectious Blepharitis?

Non-infectious blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelids that is NOT caused by an invading organism but rather nutritional deficiencies. It is characterized by non-ulcerative inflammation of the hair follicles and lacrimal glands along the eyelid edges.

Q: What  is the difference between inflammation and an invading organism which causes inflammation?

A: An invading organism such as Staphylococcus aureus, a common bacteria on the body’s surface, is called a stye. Styes are treated with antibiotics and resolve. Whereas, non-infectious blepharitis does not respond to antibiotics because there is no infection.

The eyelids are an important structural defense against infection and threats to the eye through blinking and tear production. Their continual pattern of blinking every few seconds sweeps away debris and keeps the eye moistened with tears.

Tears are made by the meibomian glands in the eyelids and consist of fatty acids, water and mucous and also contain anti-microbial substances.

Failure of the meibomian glands to function properly, called meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD, is a chronic, diffuse abnormality characterized by terminal duct obstruction (plugs) and/or changes in the amount or quality of the glandular secretion called meibom (tears). This may result in alteration and/or insufficiency of the tear film, symptoms of eye irritation, clinically apparent inflammation, and disease of the eye surface.

What Is Non-Infectious Blepharitis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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