Patient Information

Eye leaflets

Colchester Eye Centre
Colchester Primary Care Centre
Turner Road, Colchester CO4 5JR
Tel: 01206 487 106
Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm


Blepharitis and eyelid cleaning advice


What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margins. It is extremely common, is not sight-threatening and can re-occur. The condition arises from an accumulation of debris attached to the root of the eyelashes and/or the tiny meibomian glands on the inner eyelid becoming blocked, which leads to the eyelids becoming red and sore.

Two photos of the eye, one showing debris attached to eyelashes, the second showing the location of the meibomian glands between the eyelashes and the eye.


Blepharitis is controlled by cleaning the eyelids twice a day and may also require drops and/or ointment. Blepharitis is a long-term condition and may return if regular eyelid cleaning is stopped.


Advice on eyelid cleaning

  • Wash your hands before and after cleaning
  • Soak two cotton backed eye makeup remover pads in comfortably hot tap water placed in a bowl.
  • Squeeze the pads gently and apply one to each closed eyelid. Keep in place with fingers firmly over the top of the pads, pressing on the lashes
  • If you have been advised to massage your eyelids due to blocked meibomiam glands, use a finger to firmly stroke the skin of the lids downwards towards the lashes for the top lid and upwards towards the lashes for the bottom lid

Two photos of the eye, showing the correct direction for massage


  • Remove both pads after a few minutes and dispose
  • Moisten a further pad in the water, close one eye and wipe back and forth across the lashes. Then use circular movements to loosen any debris
  • Repeat on the other eye
  • Clean along the upper and lower outer eyelid edges from the inner corner outwards
  • Use Blephaclean for continued care


Further information

For advice, please telephone 01206 487 106, Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm.
Out of hours – Weekdays 5pm–7pm and weekends and bank holidays, 11am–4pm, please telephone 01206 286 882, or contact your GP, or go to a walk-in centre or the nearest accident and emergency department.



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