Once when I was in school, my right eyelid went all weird for several days: it was itchy and puffy, and kind of sore. So finally, I decided there might be something wrong and went to health services. The nurse there examined my eye for a little while and said, "looks like you have blepharitis."

Freaky-sounding, huh? I was scared. Turns out it means "swollen eyelid" I didn't get any medication or advice out of them (it eventually went away on its own) but I did learn a new word, and an impressive one at that!

Blepharitis is indeed inflammation of the eyelid. Specifically, it occurs when the eyelash follicles become excessively oily or infected with bacteria.

The skin surrounding the eye is usually reddenned and irritated; the eyelid itself is crusty and seems to temporarily fuse shut. Blepharitis can mean itchiness, pain, or mild discomfort. If the symptoms are present, call a physician. Without treatment, such eye infections may result in permanent damage to the cornea, conjunctivitis, styes, or tissue scarring.

At the doctor's office, blepharitis is primarily treated through gentle cleansing and, in some cases, antibiotics.

Yay, for WebMD!

Bleph`a*ri"tis (?), n. [NL., fr. Gr. &?; eyelid + -ilis.] (Med.)

Inflammation of the eyelids. -- Bleph`a*rit"ic (#), a.

 

© Webster 1913.

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