Blepharitis is a painful and chronic condition that can worsen over time if left untreated. Aesthetic plastic surgeons, such as Dr. John R. Burroughs of Colorado Springs, regularly see patients with blepharitis suffering effects such as itchy eyelids, sensitivity to light, red and swollen eyelids, watery eyes, burning sensation in the eyes, flaky or scaly skin, and crusting of mucus around the eyes. Blepharitis is very common. A study in 2009 showed that ophthalmologists noted that 37% of their patients had the condition and that optometrists reported that 47% of their patients were suffering from it as well. (3) Not only does the occurrence of blepharitis lead to chronic eye discomfort, but there are other negative consequences as well. A study published in 2013 showed that individuals with blepharitis had significantly higher risk of anxiety and depression. (4) DEBS patients can also suffer painful corneal ulcers that can cause scarring of their corneas and difficult to eradicate red, swollen eyes.
While there is no cure for blepharitis, there are treatment options. Experienced oculofacial plastic surgeon specialists, such as Dr. John R. Burroughs (Springs Aesthetics) of Colorado Springs, had long been resigned to offering treatments such as warm compresses, antibiotics, eye drops, specialized lid scrubs (Avenova and Ocusoft) and improved hygiene for the affected areas. However, a new treatment option, BlephEx, has arrived and is offering an exciting, innovative method for treating blepharitis and keeping the condition under control with regular treatments. BlephEx is a procedure that uses a patented handpiece, under the supervision of a medical professional, that uses a medical grade micro-sponge to carefully and precisely spin along the edge of the eyelids and lashes, which exfoliates the eyelids and removes the troublesome debris and bacteria. BlephEx is the first and only doctor procedural treatment for dry eye and blepharitis as it actually removes the causes of the inflammation. This new treatment option only takes a few minutes to complete and is relatively pain-free.
Dr. John R. Burroughs of Colorado Springs notes, “Many of the patients that I see on a daily basis suffer from dry eyes and blepharitis as these two conditions commonly occur together and at a very high concentration in the dry, arid climate of Colorado. The sad reality is that there is no cure for Dry Eye/Blepharitis Syndrome (DEBS), and our treatments were not able to actually impact the root causes. However, this has dramatically changed with the introduction of BlephEx to the market. This new and innovative technology allows me to fight blepharitis directly by using the handpiece to remove the bacteria and biofilm buildup along the eyelids and eyelashes that are the root of the problem. In addition to bacteria, many patients acquire Demodex (a mite) infestations of their eyelashes and lid margin further contributing to their dry eye and blepharitis problems. Traditionally this mite infestation has been very difficult to completely treat requiring specialized lid scrubs that could take months to improve. Because BlephEx utilizes a specialized soap that is effective for the bacteria as well as the mites, through its mechanical cleaning and debridement of the biofilm buildup, allows a more thorough approach that lasts for up to 6 months.
BlephEx allows me to ensure that my patients no longer have to suffer the effects of DEBS ever again as long as they have regular treatments every four to six months, and these treatments only take six to eight minutes to complete. My patients are ecstatic knowing that only a combined thirty minutes of treatment per year means the suffering effects from blepharitis and dry eyes are greatly reduced. Of course, those who have suffered from DEBS for some time may require a few treatments to see an effect. BlephEx is a godsend for wearers of contact lenses as they are ten times more likely to suffer inflammatory damage to their tear glands. The condition known as Contact Lens Intolerance, in which the eye begins to reject the wearing of contact lens, can be avoided by having a BlephEx procedure done every six months. Overall, we now have a proven treatment method that targets the causes of DEBS and helps ensure its remission through regular treatments.” (5)