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Pediatric Eye Specialist in Erie, PA

Swollen Eyelids (Blepharitis)

Your child's eyelids protect their eyes and shield them from debris, dust, and other things that can harm their vision. Unfortunately, some children experience swollen and irritated eyelids—a condition known as blepharitis. At Pediatric Ophthalmology of Erie, our team is here to help your child find relief from this condition with our expert diagnosis and treatment.

Blepharitis is most often the result of a persistent bacterial infection that affects the skin at the base of the eyelashes and the eyelash glands. This infection can cause the eyelids to swell, become red and inflamed, flake or crust over, and feel itchy and uncomfortable. Though this condition can be persistent and requires ongoing treatment, our specialists will work with you to create a customized plan that reduces your child's symptoms and keeps them comfortable.

Our team of pediatric specialists will help identify and diagnose the cause of your child's blepharitis. We'll also work with you to create a treatment plan that best fits the needs of your family. Our goal is not only to treat blepharitis but also to equip you and your child with the knowledge and tools you'll need for the long-term management of the condition. Schedule an appointment today and let our team of compassionate experts help your child find relief.


Boy with a swollen eyelid

Blepharitis Treatment from an Expert Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Optometrist

Swollen Eyelid Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Though blepharitis is most often caused by a bacterial infection, swollen eyelids can also be caused by allergies. A child with blepharitis will typically experience it in both eyes and may experience redness, swelling, flaking, crusting of the eyelids, and discomfort. Other blepharitis symptoms or complications include dandruff, dry eyes, styes, chalazia and losing eyelashes.

At Pediatric Ophthalmology of Erie, we recommend our patients follow this simple three-step routine for clearing up their blepharitis symptoms:

  1. Warm Compresses: Start by loosening the crust on your eyelids with a warm washcloth. Let it sit for around five minutes, and then wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
  2. Eyelid Scrubs: Three times every day, scrub the eyelid, the eyelid margin, and the base of the eyelashes with a damp washcloth and baby shampoo. Don't worry if your eyelid skin becomes red from the scrubbing—the goal is to get your lashes completely clean and free from any remaining scales or crust.
  3. Antibiotic Ointment: After scrubbing your eyelids, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the lid margin, making sure to rub it well into the base of your lashes. While the ointment may blur your vision for a moment if it gets into your eyes, it won't cause any harm.

Even after the inflammation is under control, it's best to continue with regular eyelid scrubs to prevent future flare-ups. As previously mentioned, blepharitis can be persistent and require ongoing treatment. Our specialists will be there every step of the way to ensure your child's blepharitis symptoms remain at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

My teenager wears makeup; is there anything they should do differently?

Yes! If your teenager is currently experiencing blepharitis, it is important that they stop wearing makeup until the infection is under control. Additionally, because their old makeup is likely contaminated with the same bacteria that caused the infection, it is best to discard any makeup they have been using and purchase a new set.

Is blepharitis contagious?

Blepharitis is not contagious. Though it's often the result of a staphylococcus infection, which is generally considered to be contagious, blepharitis can't be passed from person to person, except under very unusual circumstances. That's because this particular bacteria is often present on the skin, anyway, and it's only the overgrowth of it that causes the inflammation.

Will my insurance cover swollen eyelid treatment?

At Pediatric Ophthalmology of Erie, we are proud to accept a number of major insurance plans from providers in the region. We strive to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for our patients so that they can receive the highest quality of care, which is why we also suggest calling your provider before scheduling. This helps to ensure that you don't incur any surprise costs.

How can I get started with the best pediatric eye doctor in Erie, PA?

Our easy-to-use online tool makes scheduling an appointment with us simple and convenient. Alternatively, if you prefer a more personal touch or need any assistance, we are just a phone call away. Our friendly team is always ready to help set up your child's visit and answer any of your questions!

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