Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

Woman rubbing her irritated eye

Do your eyelids feel inflamed or irritated? Suffering these symptoms can be signs of a condition called blepharitis. Blepharitis can occur if bacteria develops on the eyelid margins, leading to irritation and biofilm on the lids. If you don’t clean your eyelids, it can form bacteria and eventually lead to blepharitis.

Biofilm encourages the growth of bacteria that can trigger blepharitis. If you have blepharitis, you may be a good candidate for a treatment called BlephEx. Keep reading to learn more about BlephEx and find out if it may be right for you!

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. It can be hard to treat and tends to recur. One of the causes of blepharitis is the excessive growth of normal bacteria. Normal bacteria is usually found along the base of your eyelashes and edges of your lids.

The overgrowth of bacteria causes crusting along your eyelids. It also creates a biofilm that traps debris and scurf and harbors bacterial exotoxins. Unfortunately, the biofilm promotes the further growth of bacteria. The bacteria, biofilm, crusted debris, and scurf gradually accumulates over the years, resulting in chronic inflammation. You may deal with chronically itchy, burning eyes if you have blepharitis.

Although anyone can get blepharitis, the risk is higher with age because your tears produce fewer antibodies as you get older. If blepharitis is left untreated, your eyelid glands can become blocked and infected. As a result of this, you may develop styes, corneal ulcers, severe dry eyes, and other complications.

Symptoms of Blepharitis

Some of the common symptoms of blepharitis include:

  • Tearing
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Inflammation
  • Sandy feeling
  • Itching
  • Eye rubbing
  • Irritation
  • Oily eyelids
  • Unsightly dandruff-like flakes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fluctuating blurry vision that improves with blinking

If you have one or more of these symptoms, this is a good sign that you may benefit from undergoing BlephEx treatment.

Stages of Blepharitis

Blepharitis typically happens in four stages over a duration of time. The progressive stages of the eye condition include:

  • Stage 1 – During the first stage, there’s biofilm formation with lash misdirection and swelling of the lash follicles.
  • Stage 2 – The meibomian glands become inflamed.
  • Stage 3 – There is little or no tear lake, along with inflammation of the eyelash follicles and the lid margin
  • Stage 4 – Chronic inflammation that damages the structural integrity of your eyelids. This results in complications such as entropion, ectropion, and lid laxity.

BlephEx Treatment

Most conventional treatments do little to treat blepharitis. Luckily, BlephEx is a safe and highly effective in-office procedure performed at Eye Physicians of Long Beach. Before your BlephEx treatment begins, you’ll have numbing drops placed in both eyes to help you feel comfortable. During the 6 to 8 minute procedure, your eye doctor will directly exfoliate and clean your eyelashes and eyelids.

To exfoliate, your eye doctor will gently and precisely spin a medical-grade micro-sponge along the eyelids and lashes. To curb the spread of bacteria, they will use a disposable micro-sponge for each eye. At the end of the treatment, you’ll have your eyes thoroughly rinsed. Your ophthalmologist will provide at-home eye care instructions to maintain lid hygiene with the help of an eye cleanser.

BlephEx is Meant to Work in Combination with Other Blepharitis Treatments

BlephEx is not a replacement for other blepharitis treatment options but is meant to work with them in combination. Your eyelids require frequent cleaning and hygiene practices to keep blepharitis and dry eyes from recurring. BlephEx treatment helps to remove biofilm, bacterial toxins, scurf, and debris.

When performed appropriately, BlephEx alleviates the debilitating symptoms of blepharitis. It further improves the health of your eyelids and restores the proper function of your tear glands. You will likely need to receive BlephEx treatments every 4-6 months for the best results.

Many patients feel a marked difference immediately after the treatment. However, this will depend on the severity and stage of blepharitis. If you have severe damage to your tear glands because of blepharitis, it could take several treatments before you notice any improvement. You can resume your routine everyday activities once you’re done with the treatment.

The Cost of BlephEx

Even though insurance doesn’t cover BlephEx, the treatment is quite affordable compared to the long-term costs of blepharitis treatment. After BlephEx, you’ll save hundreds of dollars that you would otherwise spend on artificial tears, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. At the same time, you’ll enjoy long-term relief from the effective procedure.

BlephEx vs. Traditional Treatments

Blepharitis treatments that rely on wipes, eye drops, or ointments only offer temporary relief. Here’s why:

  • Wipes designed to clean your eyelids are ineffective in providing full exfoliation.
  • Blepharitis ointments coat the surface of your eyes to reduce the rate at which tears evaporate. However, they can lead to blurry vision, making them best to use before going to bed.
  • While eye drops help ease the symptoms of blepharitis, the effects are short-lived. You’ll have to apply them regularly to provide relief from any pain and discomfort. If you choose gel-based drops, they’ll remain on the surface of your eyes for longer and require fewer applications. One major disadvantage of these types of drops is they cause blurry vision.

Most conventional blepharitis treatments don’t deal with the eye condition, which can cause it to worsen. BlephEx is a more effective treatment that addresses the root of the problem and provides lasting relief.

State-of-the-Art Blepharitis Treatment

Eye Physicians of Long Beach are proud to offer BlephEx to our patients to treat blepharitis. This advanced technology enables our expert team of eye doctors to provide a powerful and effective solution if you’re suffering from blepharitis. 

Do you suspect you have blepharitis, or have you been diagnosed with the eye condition? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA, to get the relief you need!