Help and frequently asked questions

What is causing my sore and itchy eyelids?


Blepharitis is a common cause of sore and itchy eyelids. The condition is responsible for approximately one in 20 eye problems reported to optometrists. The eyelids tend to be sore at the rim and you may also experience crusty eyelashes or a stinging sensation in the eye itself.

Blepharitis can be caused by an infection or blocked oil-producing glands. Skin conditions and allergies are also contributing factors. Treatment for blepharitis involves regular eye hygiene. Applying a warm compress to the area and massaging the eyelids can help when a blocked gland is the main problem.However, blepharitis is a chronic condition, meaning that once it develops you are likely to experience repeated recurrences.

In some cases, an optometrist may prescribe you antibiotics to control flare-ups.Contact lenses often aggravate the condition, so you will need to stop wearing them during an episode. In fact, you may want to consider other options for your vision problems if you suffer blepharitis.

Frequent eye make-up use is also thought to make the condition worse.

What are other causes of itchy, sore eyelids?

In addition to blepharitis, there are a number of other reasons why you may develop itchy, sore eyelids. Dry eye, a condition where the eye does not produce enough tears, can cause these symptoms.

Contact dermatitis is also responsible for itchy, flaky eyelids. This type of eczema is usually due to an allergic reaction to a skin or make-up product. Symptoms tend to clear up once you stop using that particular product.

If you wear contact lenses, giant papillary conjunctivitis could be the cause of itchy, sore eyelids. This is an inflammation of the lining inside the eyelid.The condition is not serious and can usually be resolved by changing your contact lenses, wearing them less frequently or using lubricating eye drops.