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Primary Eye Care Associates

Blephartis

By Dr. Steven Chander on August 28, 2014

 

What is Blepharitis?

If you have tired, itchy, burning sensation or dryness feeling of the eyes, you may have a chronic condition of the eye lids called Blepharitis.  Blepharitis affects about 82 million people in the United States.

Blepharitis in an inflammation of the eyelids that is caused by an overgrowth or normal bacteria living along the eye lids at the base of where the eyelashes come out.  Our bodies produce anti-bodies all the time to fight off infections and other germs that we are exposed to.  Anyone at any age can get blepharitis, but since we produce fewer anti-bodies as we age, we tend to see blepharitis more in older patients.

As the overgrowth of bacteria happens along the eye lid margins, it causes a crusting and sticky environment that traps the dead skill cells and other debris in our tears all in the eyelashes.

Our eyelids are never really washed thoroughly, so this overgrowth of bacteria causes almost a plaque like formation of crusty caked on bacteria debris that block  the natural oil producing pours that keep our eyelashes moist and keep our tears from simply evaporating off the eye too fast. 

Without the oily layer the tears evaporate too quickly since oil floats on water, and the result is even more bacteria flourish.  Eyelid  styes or hordeloums or chalazians (painful bumps sore to touch in the eye lids) can form often.

 

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

  • Constant irritation of the eyes
     
  • Awareness of the eyes with scratchy feeling
     
  • Feels like something is in the eye all the time (sandy gritty feeling)
     
  • Redness all the time (embarrassing “what did you drink/smoke” your eyes are red! Question asked all the time 
     
  • Sticky eyes in the morning when you wake up
     
  • Too much tearing of the eyes
     
  • Rubbing of the eyes

 

My doctor told me to use baby shampoo for blepharitis.  Does that help or work?

Old school treatment involved using baby shampoo because of it’s no eye-stinging formula with a towel or gauze to remove the excess debris.  But it does not eliminate the excess bacteria typically.  It is difficult for patients to get into the hard to reach areas effectively and has limited effectiveness.

The latest treatment to fix Blepharitis, BlephEX at Primary Eye Care Associates

BlephEX is a procedure Dr. Chander performs to thoroughly and precisely elimate the scurf (plaque like debris matted into the eyelashes) that builds up along the eyelid margin over time.   This stops the inflammation of the eye lid, halting the disease from damaging the oil producing pores of the eyelid.

 

BlephEX procedure will reduce or eliminate the chronic debilitation symptoms like:

  • Constant irritation of the eyes
     
  • Awareness of the eyes with scratchy feeling
     
  • Feels like something is in the eye all the time (sandy gritty feeling)
     
  • Redness all the time (embarrassing “what did you drink/smoke” your eyes are red! Question asked all the time
     
  • Sticky eyes in the morning when you wake up
     
  • Too much tearing of the eyes
     
  • Rubbing of the eyes

This elimination allows your eyes to produce more of your own tears and enjoy a life free of the chronic and irritating symptoms listed above.

The procedure takes typically a few minutes for each eye, and may need to be repeated as the build up re-occurs, about 2 times a year.

After your procedure your eye lids are deep cleaned, and you will need to maintain this using a non-prescription eyelid foam every 1-3 days to avoid rapid build up of the bacteria.

In some cases, and oral anti-biotic is prescribed along with special heating googles worn to keep your pores clog free.  The heating googles are worn for about 20mintutes.  Dr. Chander recommends lid foam wash to continue at home exfoliation of the eye lashes for 20 seconds a day.

 

Who’s at risk for blepharitis?

Anyone really is.  Some patients do not have many symptoms initially.  It affects about 71% of patients over 65 years of age.

Increased risk factors are:

  • Rosacea
     
  • Excessive acne
     
  • Dry scalp
     
  • Age

Is BlephEX procedure covered by insurance?

BlephEX is currently not contributed by any insurance and is very affordable.  Call our clinic located on near midway Airport in Chicago 773-735-6090 or visit http://www.wehelpchicagosee.com and click on the location tab.  We’re looking forward to “seeing” you!

 

Check back to the blog for more information on BlephEX including video of the procedure.

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