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Blephex for Blepharitis

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Blephex for Blepharitis

York Eye Associates is pleased to offer advanced treatment for blepharitis, BlephEx™. This device provides powerful, painless and effective treatment for those suffering from an inflammation of the eyelids that causes red, irritated and swollen eyes. If you have been diagnosed with blepharitis, or suspect you may have it, get in touch with us and we’ll provide you with the relief you need.

What is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis (blef-uh-RYE-tis) is a common eyelid inflammation that can develop at any age. Blepharitis typically occurs when tiny oil glands located near the base of the eyelashes become clogged, leading to swollen, irritated and red eyes. Several diseases and conditions can cause blepharitis, such as dry eyes. Blepharitis doesn’t result in permanent vision damage and is not contagious.

What Are the Symptoms of Blepharitis?

A few typical symptoms include:

  • itchy, sore and red eyelids that stick together
  • crusty or greasy eyelashes
  • a burning, gritty sensation in your eyes
  • increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • swollen eyelid margins
  • wearing contact lenses become unbearable
  • abnormal eyelash growth or loss of eyelashes in severe cases

How Does BlephEx Treat Blepharitis?

tired eyesWhen properly performed, BlephEx reduces and alleviates uncomfortable blepharitis symptoms. The treatment is repeated at regular intervals depending on the severity of the condition. By eliminating the root cause of blepharitis, the overall health of the eyelid will be significantly improved and will allow you to produce more tears and enjoy life without the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with blepharitis.

How Does Blephex Work?

BlephEx is a painless in-office procedure performed by our optometric team. It works by removing excess bacteria and toxins that live along the lash margin that cause inflammation and eyelid disease. The BlephEx handpiece precisely and carefully spins a medical-grade disposable micro-sponge along the edge of your eyelids and lashes, discarding any debris and exfoliating your eyelids. A micro-sponge is used for each eye individually, so as not to spread bacteria between the eyelids. The procedure takes about 6-8 minutes to complete and is well-tolerated by the patient. Numbing drops are placed in the eyes prior to treatment for increased comfort. After the procedure, the patient will be instructed on ways to maintain clean eyelids by following nightly eyelid hygiene.

How Many Times Must BlephEx Be Performed?

The eyelids require a regular hygiene practice to prevent blepharitis and dry eye disease from recurring. It is recommended that BlephEx be administered every 4 – 6 months in order to keep bacteria to a minimum and to prevent the biofilm from developing again. Once the treatments are stopped, the biofilm will typically redevelop, leading to inflammation and damaged tear glands all over again.

Does Insurance Cover the Cost of BlephEx?

BlephEx is a relatively new treatment for dry eyes and is not typically covered by insurance, though you can certainly try to submit it. Even when paying privately, it is still less costly than a years’ worth of eye drops, artificial tears, ointments, and so on.

How Soon Will I Notice a Difference?

Depending on the stage and severity of the condition, patients tend to feel a difference right after the treatment. However, if you’ve experienced significant damage to your tear glands due to blepharitis, it may take several months before observing any changes in your condition. Certain people may require multiple treatments before they begin to heal. Nightly hygiene and repeat treatments will treat, cure and prevent a recurrence.

Does Blephex Have Any Side Effects?

There will only be positive effects following the treatment. You will have removed years, if not decades, of biofilm from your eyelids and will be able to comfortably blink without having your eyelids feel sticky. Contact us to schedule your BlephEx appointment at York Eye Associates and to consult with our optometric team for a proper eyelid evaluation.

Our practice serves patients from Gainesville, Sherman, Sanger, and Cooke County, Texas and surrounding communities.
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Punctal Plugs

If you suffer from dry, burning, irritated or itchy eyes, you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a condition where your eyes either don’t produce enough tears or produce low-quality tears that can’t keep your eyes adequately hydrated. Sometimes the meibomian glands, which produce the oily layer of your tears, found inside your eyelid don’t function properly or are blocked, causing your tears to dry out.

If your tear ducts are blocked, your eye doctor may suggest punctal plugs.

What Are Punctal Plugs?

Punctal plugs are small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts — the puncta — of the eyelids. Another type of plug is inserted into the tear duct, the canaliculus, at a deeper level.

Puncta are small openings in your eyes that drain tears. The plug, which is about the size of a grain of rice, prevents fluid from flowing from the eyes. This ensures that the maximum amount of tears remain on the eyes at all times, resulting in less itching, burning, and redness.

Two Types of Punctal Plugs

Temporary/dissolving plugs

Temporary/dissolving plugs are made of a material, such as collagen, that the body absorbs over time. These plugs can last anywhere from a few days to several months in the eye. After refractive surgery, such as LASIK, temporary plugs are frequently used to keep the eye moist. They can also be used to test out punctal plugs to see if they provide dry eye relief.

Semi-permanent plugs

Semi-permanent plugs are composed of medical plastic, such as silicone or acrylic, that lasts longer. These plugs are made to stay in the eye for years. Your eye doctor can remove them, if necessary.

Another sort of semi-permanent punctal plug is inserted in the canaliculus, which is a deeper section of the tear duct. Once in the eye, these plugs are completely invisible.

How Are Punctal Plugs Inserted?

Your eye doctor will first inspect your eye to determine the optimum type and size of plug for your eyes.

Anesthesia may be used to numb your tear ducts. However, in some cases, you may not need to have your eyes numbed. As the punctal plug is inserted into your eyelid, you may feel some pressure.

After the plugs are inserted, you should be able to resume your normal activities at once.

When and How are Punctal Plugs Removed?

How to remove the plugs and when will depend on which plugs are inserted.

To remove silicon plugs from the tear ducts, your eye doctor will use forceps to gently pull the plugs out. Another option for removing these plugs is to use a saltwater solution to flush them out. The plugs are forced out of the tear ducts and into the nose or throat during this procedure.

Surgery is usually required to remove plugs that are deeper in the tear duct (in the canaliculus).

For most people, punctal plugs don’t cause any problems. However, if you have any eye pain, itchiness, or fear you have an infection, contact your eye doctor right away. The eye doctor will examine your eyes and remove the plugs if necessary.

Are Punctal Plugs for You?

Consult your eye doctor if artificial tears or other eye drops have failed to relieve your dry eye symptoms. If blocked tear glands are the culprit, your doctor might advise you to try punctal plugs. For more information regarding punctal plugs contact York Eye Associates today!

Our practice serves patients from Gainesville, Sherman, Sanger, and Cooke County, Texas and surrounding communities.
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Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 940-612-2020
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