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    Retina/Vitreous

    Eyelid and external eye problems are common in the aging eye. One of the most common eyelid problems affecting elders is blepharitis, or chronic inflammation of the eyelid, as shown in this slide. The symptoms include burning, itching, tearing, and crusting of the eyelid. This condition is thought to be due to colonization of the eyelashes and oil glands with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. There is no cure for the problem, but symptoms can be controlled with lid hygiene, which involves scrubbing the lashes with a cotton swab soaked in a solution of half baby shampoo and half water. A mild topical antibiotic with activity against S aureus may also be helpful. Occasionally, blepharitis can also be associated with meibomian gland dysfunction and rosacea. In these cases, consultation with an ophthalmologist is indicated and treatment with tetracycline or other medications may be prescribed.