Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Self-care measures, such as washing your eyes and using warm compresses, may be the only treatment necessary for most cases of blepharitis. If that is not enough, your doctor may suggest prescription treatments, including:

  • Medications that fight infection. Antibiotics applied to the eyelid have been shown to provide relief of symptoms and resolve bacterial infection of the eyelids. These are available in a variety of forms, including eyedrops, creams and ointments. If you don't respond to topical antibiotics, your doctor may suggest an oral antibiotic.
  • Medications to control inflammation. Steroid eyedrops or ointments may help control inflammation. Your doctor may prescribe both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Medications that affect the immune system. Topical cyclosporine (Restasis) is a calcineurin inhibitor that has been shown to offer relief of some signs and symptoms of blepharitis.
  • Treatments for underlying conditions. Blepharitis caused by seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea or other diseases may be controlled by treating the underlying disease.

Blepharitis rarely disappears completely. Even with successful treatment, the condition frequently is chronic and requires daily attention with eyelid scrubs. If you don't respond to treatment, or if you've also lost eyelashes or only one eye is affected, the condition could be caused by a localized eyelid cancer.

March 13, 2015

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