Are bacterial conjunctivitis and blepharitis related?

Q. My eye looks blood red. It is itchy and dry. Could this be a bacterial conjunctivitis?

Answered by
Dr. Anand Yattinamani
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 15, 2015 and last reviewed on: Jul 28, 2022

Hello doctor,

I was diagnosed with blepharitis. I also have seborrhoeic dermatitis (perhaps rosacea), which has significantly improved. Recently, I got very bad allergy symptoms. My eyes and nose became extremely itchy, causing me to sneeze a lot. This morning when I woke up, I had trouble opening one of my eyes due to a dark yellow eye discharge. Apart from being itchy, my eye was blood red and dry (only one eye). I had never had this much discharge before, especially after cleaning my eyelids to treat my blepharitis. It terrified me. Could this be bacterial conjunctivitis due to the color of the discharge and that only one eye was affected? What are other possible explanations?



Welcome to

I have gone through the attached pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity).

Yes, it is nothing but common bacterial conjunctivitis. Since you have blepharitis, you are more likely to get conjunctivitis. Also, blepharitis, in turn, is related to seborrhoeic dermatitis. I can assure you that bacterial conjunctivitis is treated easily with antibiotic eye drops.

Try using Gatifloxacin eye drops initially half-hourly on the first day, and later you can taper to hourly dose the next day and two hourly on the third day and so on. Just continue for five days, and you will be fine.

My only concern is that you have associated blepharitis. This can be treated well by cleaning the eyelids with baby shampoo daily for a few months. Once blepharitis is controlled, your eye irritation, watering, and itching will come down.

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