Blepharitis and BlephEx™ Treatment
We can help to diagnose and treat this common and irritating eye condition.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a chronic eye condition that affects up to 50% of the adult population. It is an inflammation of the eyelid, usually at the base of the eyelashes, leading to burning sensations, flaking and crusting around the eyelids, irritation, itching and redness in eyelid margins and foreign body sensations.
Blepharitis is caused by a life-long build up of bacteria in the eyelids, these create a ‘biofilm’ over the eyelash follicles which can cause the glands that naturally secrete oils, to lubricate and comfort the eye, to become clogged, a condition known as MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction). Other results can include seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff forming on the eyebrows), or mite infestation.
There is no cure for chronic blepharitis, however Airedale Opticians is able to offer solutions to provide short and long term relief.
The most advanced development in the field, BlephEx is a painless procedure performed in practice by our optometrists. The patented 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 micro-sponge is disposable and a clean one is used for each individual eyelid so bacteria is not spread between the lids. The eyes are rinsed well afterwards. The procedure lasts about 6 minutes and is well tolerated, most people simply report a tickling sensation. A numbing drop is placed in each eye prior to treatment for increased comfort.
Like a scale and polish of your teeth, the BlephEx treatment will help to clear the problematic detritus from your eyelids, but cannot prevent it from reforming. You will be given an eyelid cleaning regimen to carry out at home and we book a follow-up appointment a month later to see how the eyelids are progressing. Depending on the severity of your Blepharitis you will be recommended to attend for another round of treatment between 6 and 12 months later.
In order to provide you with the best quality eyecare, the BlephEx treatment is only available in conjunction with a full eye examination – you can book an eye examination at the same time as your BlephEx appointment. You will not need an eye examination if we have seen you for a test within the past three months. See our fees page or enquire for more details.
For day to day relief from the condition some doctors still recommend baby shampoo – the NHS advise against this, as the shampoo will break down the natural oils in the eyelashes and leave the skin unprotected and more prone to inflammation. We offer a range of popular wipes and solutions from Thea Pharmaceuticals and Scope Opthalmics which are designed specifically to tackle blepharitis and provide longer lasting relief. Feel free to ask in practice for more information.
The Blepha Range
This popular range of eyelid hygiene products is designed to combat blepharitis, but can also be used for daily eyelid cleaning and as a preservative and perfume-free make-up removing system. The range is safe to use with contact lenses.
Blephasol is the core product, containing a water-based lotion that is applied to the eyelids with a cotton-wool pad and requires no preparation or rinsing. Used twice daily, it will reduce the discomfort of blepharitis and dry-eye. Also available as Blephasol Duo containing a pack of cotton pads.
Blephaclean is a pack of wipes infused with the Blephasol formula. The wipes are individually wrapped, allowing you to carry them with you, for use whenever required. Ideal for day trips and holidays.
Blephagel has the cleaning benefits of the rest of the range, along with an instant cooling relief, it is recommended for sufferers of severe blepharitis.
The Ocusoft range is designed to gently remove dirt and debris from the eye lids, helping to prevent inflammation and dry eye symptoms. Ocusoft Plus additionally contains PHMB and Symdiol which have been shown to kill Demodex mites which can be a cause of blepharitis and irritation. The range is preservative free and safe to use with contact lenses.
Ocusoft Plus Foam Cleanser comes in an easy to use bottle with up to 121 doses. The formula instantly foams on the finger and can be applied directly to the eyelids. Applied once daily, it can be rinsed, or left on for the best effects.
Ocusoft Plus Lid Scrub Wipes a pack of 20 individually sealed wipes with the same formula allows you to carry the solution more conveniently, ideal for when you are travelling.
Blepharitis can often lead to (or be caused by) Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). The Meibomian glands produce an oily secretion onto the surface of the eye which helps to stop your tears from evaporating away too quickly and helps to keep the eye lubricated and comfortable. These glands can often become blocked as the oils become hardened, so the tears on the eye do not do their job properly, leading to dry eye conditions including blepharitis. The solution is to apply heat to the eyes, to melt the blockages and allow the glands to work as normal.
The Eye Bag is the original and best dedicated product on the market for helping to soothe dry and uncomfortable eyes. Simply heat in a microwave and place over the eyes, it will stay warm for up to ten minutes, enough time to melt the blockages in the glands and provide relief. This lasts longer than a hot flannel and without the mess. The Eye Bag was designed and is manufactured in West Yorkshire with all-natural and locally sourced flax, it is the best selling eye care product at Airedale Opticians, making it easy for us to recommend for all dry eye sufferers.