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Blepharitis and BlephEx™ – Your St. Albert Eye Doctor Explains All You Need to Know

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Dry eye? Irritated eyes and crusty eyelids? If you visited your eye doctor for an eye exam near you, and were given a diagnosis of blepharitis, you’re probably familiar with these uncomfortable symptoms – and BlephEx may have been recommended as an effective treatment to alleviate your pain. What is blepharitis, and how can BlephEx treat it?

What is blepharitis?

This chronic, inflammatory condition affects your eyelids. Generally, it results from an overgrowth of the bacteria that live normally along your lash line. While anyone can get blepharitis, it occurs most commonly as people age, because that’s when less natural antibodies are present in tears.

The abundance of bacteria leads to a biofilm that traps debris and flaky skin deposits along the eyelashes. This biofilm enables bacterial exotoxins to accumulate along your lid margin, penetrating eyelid tissue and causing a low-grade infection. In turn, the infection disrupts healthy tear production. Fewer tears with less antibodies are made by your tear glands, which then allows even more bacteria to accumulate. It’s a vicious cycle, typically causing eye irritation and dry eye syndrome that prompt people to seek treatment from an eye doctor.

When left untreated, blepharitis can lead to a variety of painful conditions, such as:

  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Styes
  • Outward or inward turning of the lower eyelid
  • Extra row of eyelashes that can irritate the cornea
  • Inward turning of eyelashes that can scratch the corneal surface

Fortunately, your eye doctor can use BlephEx™ to treat blepharitis by cleaning and exfoliating your lids and lashes. BlephEx removes the biofilm along the edges of your eyelids, helping you to avoid lasting damage to your tear glands and preventing dry eye syndrome.

What is BlephEx?

This breakthrough treatment is the first and only clinician treatment for blepharitis. BlephEx involves the use of a specialised hand piece that safely and precisely spins a micro-sponge along the edge of your lash line, removing buildup of debris and unclogging the meibomian glands.

Your eye doctor performs BlephEx as an in-office procedure that takes only 6 -8 minutes. Prior to the procedure, a numbing eye drop is usually inserted into each eye to make it more comfortable. The micro-sponge is disposable and switched in between each eyelid to prevent the spread of bacteria. Afterwards, your eyes will be rinsed well.

At home, you’ll be instructed to clean your eyelids with regular nightly hygiene. Depending on your individual condition, BlephEx will likely be repeated every 4-6 months.

Anyone who suffers from any of the following symptoms may have blepharitis and be helped by BlephEx:

  • Dry eye
  • Redness/Inflammation
  • Tearing
  • Crusting
  • Itching or scratchy eyes
  • Eye rubbing
  • Foreign body sensation

Can BlephEx help you? To find out, contact our St. Albert, Alberta, eye doctor for a consultation and eye exam near you.

At Eye Health Centre, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 780-419-7000 or book an appointment online to see one of our St. Albert eye doctors.

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