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inflammation of the edges of the eyelids.
Blepharitis is a very common, often prolonged, and intractable disease. It often occurs in undernourished persons; in children, in association with tubercular and allergic diseases and metabolic disturbances; and in persons suffering from hyperopia and astigmatism of the eyes. Unfavorable external conditions (dust, wind, and smoke) promote the development of blepharitis. It is classified as simple (or scaly) blepharitis, ulcerative blepharitis, angular blepharitis (from the Latin angulus, corner, in which only the corners of the eyes are affected—a complication of conjunctivitis caused by diplobacilli), and blepharitis associated with increased secretion of the Meibomian glands located along the edges of the eyelids.
Simple blepharitis is characterized by reddening and swelling of the edges of the eyelids and formation of whitish scales resembling dandruff at the base of the eyelashes. When these scales are removed, pink skin is exposed. In ulcerative blepharitis, rather thick incrustations are formed along the margins of the lids; when they are removed, small, bleeding, purulent ulcers are exposed. Growth of the eyelashes may be disturbed by ulcerative blepharitis (the lashes grow to one side of the eyeball and fall out), and the edges of the eyelids thicken. The development of blepharitis is usually accompanied by itching of the lids, photophobia, and rapid eye fatigue at work. Treatment involves the removal of the basic cause of blepharitis. Locally, the edges of the eyelids may be treated with astringent and disinfectant medications and so forth.
REFERENCESMnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po glaznym bolezniam, vol. 2, book 1. Moscow, 1960. Page 27.
M. L. KRASNOV