Everyone has bacteria on the surface of their skin, but in some people, bacteria thrive in the skin at the base of the eyelashes. Large amounts of bacteria around the eyelashes can cause dandruff-like scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.
Blepharitis is also associated with meibomitis, a dysfunction and inflammation of the nearby oil glands of the eyelids (called the meibomian glands). Meibomian gland dysfunction is common and contributes to the sensation of dry, burning, and irritated eyes. This is also commonly associated with dry eye disease.
Treatment of blepharitis and meibomitis is safe and typically very effective in improving ocular comfort. There are several different modalities ranging from heat therapy and lid scrubs, to drops and ointments, and even oral medications.