Bradley Walsh, 59, is a familiar face on the small screen, appearing on Dr Who and hosting ITV game shows The Chase and Cash Trapped. In the past, viewers have picked up on the star having “pink eye”. But the presenter later revealed his symptoms were in fact linked to a medical condition known as blepharitis.
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Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids and usually involves part of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow.
In Bradley’s case, the condition made his eyes look red and swollen as if he’d been drinking alcohol.
The star opened up about the condition on This Morning in 2017 during a segment about hay fever.
He admitted he has to take an anti-allergy medication every day to stop his eyelids from swelling and that viewers often mistake I’m for being drunk.
Bradley said: “People don’t realise I have seriously bad blepharitis.
“I have to take [one pill] a day for it or I really struggle. I am going to need my eyes operated on at some point to sort it out.
“So many times, people have commented on [how I look]. But they don’t realise. If I take [medication] though, I’m fine.”
Mayo Clinic explains blepharitis commonly occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of the eyelashes become clogged. This leads to irritated and red eyes.
Several diseases and conditions can cause blepharitis.
The medical centre continues on its website: “Blepharitis is often a chronic condition that is difficult to treat.
“Blepharitis can be uncomfortable and may be unsightly.
“But it usually doesn’t cause permanent damage to your eyesight, and it’s not contagious.”
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Symptoms of blepharitis to look out for include:
- Watery eyes
- Red eyes
- A gritty, burning or stinging sensation in the eyes
- Eyelids that appear greasy
- Itchy eyelids
- Red, swollen eyelids
- Flaking of the skin around the eyes
- Crusted eyelashes upon awakening
- Eyelid sticking
- More frequent blinking
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelashes that grow abnormally (misdirected eyelashes)
- Loss of eyelashes
Mayo Clinic advises: “If you have blepharitis symptoms and signs that don’t seem to be improving despite good hygiene — regular cleaning and care of the affected area — make an appointment with your doctor.”
The exact cause of blepharitis is unclear, but a number of factors have been linked to the condition, including seborrheic dermatitis, bacterial infections and eyelash mites or lice.
If you experience blepharitis you may also experience a sty, chronic pink eye, or in severe cases, injury to the cornea.
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