Treating blepharitis

Treating blepharitis

Treating blepharitis can make your eyes more comfortable, but blepharitis often cannot be totally cured. You may need the treatment for several months.

1. Warm compresses

Warm compresses work by warming the material that blocks the glands and loosening the crusts on the eyelid. This makes them easier to remove. You can use a flannel, cotton-wool ball or something similar as a warm compress, or you can buy reusuable warming packs from your optometrist which you heat up in the microwave. Soak the compress in hot, but not boiling water, and place it on the edge of your closed eyelids for five minutes, rocking it gently. This will loosen the crusts. You can then clean your lids (see below). You should use a separate clean compress for each eye.

2. Cleaning your lids

You can buy special lid wipes or solution. Your optometrist will be able to advise you on this.

Alternatively, you can fill a clean eggcup with boiling water and leave it to cool. Then add either baby shampoo (one part baby shampoo to 10 parts water) or quarter of a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (not baking powder). Use a lid cleaning wipe or a cotton-wool bud dampened in the solution you have made (squeeze it out first) to gently clean the edges of your eyelids near your lashes. Wipe from the inside (near your nose) to the outside corner of your eye. Be careful not to clean inside your eyelid or to touch the clear part of your eye with the wipe or cotton-wool bud.

Repeat this twice a day at first and reduce this to once a day as the condition improves.

3. Antibiotics

If these other treatments do not work, your doctor or prescribing optometrist may prescribe you antibiotic ointment or tablets. Your prescribing optometrist will tell you how long to use these for, but if you need to take antibiotic tablets you may need to take these for several week or months. Your doctor or prescribing optometrist will discuss with you whether they are suitable. The benefit may last for some months after you finish the treatment.


If you have blepharitis, you should also avoid eye make-up and smoky atmospheres.