Blephex for Blepharitis
The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry is pleased to offer advanced treatment for blepharitis, BlephEx™. This device provides powerful, painless and effective treatment for those suffering from an inflammation of the eyelids that causes red, irritated and swollen eyes. If you have been diagnosed with blepharitis, or suspect you may have it, get in touch with us and we’ll provide you with the relief you need.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis (blef-uh-RYE-tis) is a common eyelid inflammation that can develop at any age. Blepharitis typically occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, leading to swollen, irritated and red eyes. Several diseases and conditions can cause blepharitis, such as dry eyes. Blepharitis doesn’t result in permanent vision damage and is not contagious.
What Are the Symptoms of Blepharitis?
A few typical symptoms include:
- itchy, sore and red eyelids that stick together
- crusty or greasy eyelashes
- a burning, gritty sensation in your eyes
- increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- swollen eyelid margins
- wearing contact lenses become unbearable
- abnormal eyelash growth or loss of eyelashes in severe cases
How Does BlephEx Treat Blepharitis?
When properly performed, BlephEx reduces and alleviates uncomfortable blepharitis symptoms. The treatment is repeated at regular intervals depending on the severity of the condition. By eliminating the root cause of blepharitis, the overall health of the eyelid will be significantly improved and will allow you to produce more tears and enjoy life without the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with blepharitis.
How Does Blephex Work?
BlephEx is a painless in-office procedure performed by Dr. Selena Chan. It works by removing excess bacteria and toxins that live along the lash margin that cause inflammation and eyelid disease. The BlephEx handpiece precisely and carefully spins a medical-grade disposable micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, discarding any debris and exfoliating your eyelids. A micro-sponge is used for each eye individually, so as not to spread bacteria between the eyelids. The procedure takes about 6-8 minutes to complete and is well-tolerated by the patient. Numbing drops are placed in the eyes prior to treatment for increased comfort. After the procedure, the patient will be instructed on ways to maintain clean eyelids by following nightly eyelid hygiene.
How Many Times Must BlephEx Be Performed?
The eyelids require a regular hygiene practice to prevent blepharitis and dry eye disease from recurring. It is recommended that BlephEx be administered every 4 – 6 months in order to keep bacteria to a minimum and to prevent the biofilm from developing again. Once the treatments are stopped, the biofilm will typically redevelop, leading to inflammation and damaged tear glands all over again.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of BlephEx?
BlephEx is a relatively new treatment for dry eyes and is not typically covered by insurance, though you can certainly try to submit it. Even when paying privately, it is still less costly than a years’ worth of eye drops, artificial tears, ointments, and so on.
How Soon Will I Notice a Difference?
Depending on the stage and severity of the condition, patients tend to feel a difference right after the treatment. However, if you’ve experienced significant damage to your tear glands due to blepharitis, it may take several months before observing any changes in your condition. Certain people may require multiple treatments before they begin to heal. Nightly hygiene and repeat treatments will treat, cure and prevent a recurrence.
Does Blephex Have Any Side Effects?
There will only be positive effects following the treatment. You will have removed years, if not decades, of biofilm from your eyelids and will be able to comfortably blink without having your eyelids feel sticky. Contact us to schedule your BlephEx appointment at The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry and to consult with Dr. Selena Chan for a proper eyelid evaluation. The Dry Eye Center at Pacific Rims Optometry serves patients in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Mateo, and throughout California.