What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the eyelids caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria living along the lid and the base of the eyelashes. Anyone can get blepharitis at any age, but the prevalence increases with age, since as we get older, we make fewer natural antibodies in our tears.
This overgrowth of bacteria produces a biofilm that traps scurf and debris along the eyelashes and harbors bacterial exotoxins along the lid margin. These exotoxins penetrate the eyelid tissue causing low-grade inflammation which adversely affects the tear glands, turning down tear production. Fewer tears containing fewer antibodies allow even more bacteria accumulate and a vicious cycle is established, leading to chronic irritation and dry eye.
Since the eyelids are difficult to clean, this overgrowth of bacteria, biofilm, scurf and debris can accumulate over many years, and the exotoxin-induced inflammation can cause significant damage to the eyelid and tear glands.
Now, thanks to BlephEx®, your eye doctor can precisely and safely, clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes, which should almost immediately improve your symptoms. More importantly, by completely removing the exotoxin-laden biofilm along the lid margin, your doctor helps you avoid long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands, helping treat or prevent chronic dry eye syndrome.
Progressive Stages of Blepharitis
Inflammation of lid margin with minimal to no scurf
Inflammation with mild scurf, lash follicle swelling
Inflammation with moderate scurf, lash follicle swelling, early lash misdirection
Inflammation with heavy scurf, lash follicle swelling, lash misdirection and ingrown lashes
How BlephEx® Works
BlephEx® is a painless in-office procedure performed by your eyecare professional. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx® handpiece is used to very precisely and carefully, spin a medical grade micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, removing scurf and debris and exfoliating your eyelids.
The patented micro-sponge is disposable and for optimal cleaning and exfoliating, a fresh clean one is used for each individual eyelid. The eyes are rinsed well afterwards.
The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and is well tolerated. Most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals