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 causes crusting along the eyelids, and creates a sticky biofilm that harbors bacterial exotoxins. Since the eyelid margins are difficult to clean, this overgrowth of bacteria, scurf, and biofilm can build up over many years.
The sugary biofilm allows even more bacteria to flourish, not only causing a multitude of irritating symptoms, but eventually chronic inflammation due to the inflammatory nature of exotoxins. The inflammation, in turn, adversely affects all the structures in the eyelid, namely, the oil glands.
Constant eye irritation, foreign body sensation, and chronic eye disease are the end result if not treated. Now, thanks to BlephEx™, your doctor can directly clean and exfoliate your eyelids and lashes, and remove the biofilm, which will almost immediately improve your symptoms and help control the long-term damage to your oil glands.
The Common symptoms of blepharitis are:
The traditional treatment is for the patient to scrub the eyelid margins with baby shampoo on a cotton swab or one of the commercially available lid care products squirted on a fingertip. This can be a difficult procedure to perform at home and has limited effectiveness.
Fortunately, there is a revolutionary new treatment for blepharitis. Developed by a board certified ophthalmologist, BlephEx™ is an in-office procedure. With the BlephEx™ procedure, your doctor can now take an active role in treating blepharitis instead of simply relying on your ability to perform semi-effective home lid scrubs.
With BlephEx™ the scurf, bacterial debris, and biofilm that builds up along the lid margin is thoroughly and precisely eliminated. These are the main causes of inflammatory lid disease.
Properly performed, BlephEx™ will reduce or alleviate these chronic and debilitating symptoms. Treatments are typically repeated every 4-6 months depending on the severity of the disease.
By eliminating the inflammatory etiology of blepharitis, the overall health of the eyelid is improved. Patients can then begin to produce more of their own tears and finally enjoy a life free from the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with blepharitis and its subsequent dry eye disease.
The risk of blepharitis increases as a patient ages. A study by Walter Reed Hospital determined that incidences of blepharitis in the U.S. steadily increase from 3% of 18-20 year olds to a staggering 71% of those over 65. That equates to more than 40 million individuals in the 65+ age group with the total number of patients with blepharitis in the U.S. alone is over 82 million people.
While BlephEx™ is not currently covered by insurance, it is a very affordable procedure, especially when compared to the long-term costs of dry eye treatment, which averages $800 per year. If you have blepharitis, you will not only save hundreds of dollars spent on artificial tears, cyclosporines, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories, but for the first time, will actually enjoy the benefits of an effective treatment.