Cochrane Summaries

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Interventions for blepharitis

Lindsley K, Matsumura S, Hatef E, Akpek EK
Published Online: 
16 May 2012

Blepharitis, defined as inflammation of the eyelids, is a common eye condition and affects both children and adults. Blepharitis can be categorized in several different ways. First, categorization is based on the length of disease process: acute or chronic blepharitis. Second, categorization is based on the anatomical location of disease: anterior, or front of the eye (e.g. staphylococcal and seborrheic blepharitis), and posterior, or back of the eye (e.g. meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)). This review focuses on chronic blepharitis and stratifies anterior and posterior blepharitis. There were 34 studies (2169 participants with blepharitis) included in the review, 20 of which included participants with anterior blepharitis and 14 of which included participants with posterior blepharitis. For anterior blepharitis, topical antibiotics provided some symptomatic relief and were effective in clearing bacteria from the eyelid margins. There was no difference between the types of topical antibiotics used. Topical steroids also provided some symptomatic relief; however, they were ineffective in eliminating bacteria. Lid hygiene, including warm compresses and lid scrubs, showed some symptomatic relief in both anterior and posterior blepharitis. Overall, there was no strong evidence for any of the treatments in terms of curing chronic blepharitis. Further research should be done to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments for blepharitis, with particular attention paid to adequate diagnosis and classification of the disease.