Although serious complications arising from blepharitis are rare, there are some common complications which can be easily controlled.

The most common complaint of blepharitis sufferers is that they are unable to wear contact lenses when they are suffering from an episode of blepharitis. Although annoying, this can usually be solved by wearing glasses instead of contact lenses until the symptoms diminish.


The membrane which covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the white part of the eyes is called conjunctiva. Inflammation of the conjunctiva is commonly known as conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria in the eyelids affecting the eyes. Conjunctivitis is not usually serious and shouldn’t affect vision.


The complaint normally lasts for about fourteen days and will clear up without the need for treatment. More persistent episodes may be treated by antibiotic eye-drops.


A stye is a painful swelling that develops on the outside of the eyelid, producing pus. They are caused by a bacterial infection of the base of the eyelash (where it attaches to the eyelid)

Most styes can be treated simply with the application of a cloth which has been warmed with hot water. More serious styes can be treated with antibiotic medication in the form of either cream or tablets.

Dry Eye Syndrome

This is a common complication of blepharitis, caused by eyes being unable to make enough tears, or the tears evaporating too quickly to provide moisture for the eye. Dry eye syndrome is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. As a result of dry eye syndrome your eyes can dry out as well as becoming swollen and irritated.

The cause of dry eye syndrome may be a skin complaint which has led to blepharitis. Common skin complaints causing blepharitis are rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis.

Dry eye symptoms include:

– Dryness of the eyes and a feeling of grittines which worsens throughout the day.

– Eyes that water excessively – especially when exposed to wind.

Dry eye syndrome symptoms can normally be treated by eye drops that are designed to impersonate tear properties. They are also known as tear subsitutes. If you’re suffering from dry eye syndrome you do not need a prescription to buy over the counter tear substitutes.

Meibomian Cyst

The Meibomian glands are situated on the inside of your eyelid and produce a fatty substance that protects the eyes. Blepharitis can cause inflammation to the Meibomian glands which results in a swelling, commonly called a Meibomian cyst.

These cysts are normally painless and will go away without treatment. They can be reduced by applying a hot compress, but if a cyst becomes infected it will need treating with antibiotics. If the cyst does not disappear it can be removed with a straightforward surgical procedure.