BlephEx™: What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic, long term, 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 harbours 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™, we can precisely and safely, clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms. More importantly, by completely removing the exotoxin-laden biofilm along the lid margin, Heath Optomentric can help you avoid the long-term inflammatory damage to your tear glands, preventing chronic dry eye syndrome.
How does BlephEx™ work?
BlephEx™ is a painless procedure. A revolutionary new patented BlephEx™ hand piece 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 a clean one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria is not spread between the lids. The procedure lasts about 6 -8 minutes and most patients simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop may be placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
After the procedure, we will give instruction on how to maintain your now clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, the procedure is typically repeated at 4-6 month intervals.