According to the National Eye Institute, approximately five million Americans aged 50 and older are estimated to suffer from dry eye syndrome. For these people, the gritty, sensitive feeling not only causes discomfort, but it can also affect vision. All these variables add up and can severely affect quality of life – whether you’re working on the computer or spending time with family.
But although dry eye is a very prevalent condition, few realize the causes behind these symptoms or know the proper ways to treat them. Reaching for over-the-counter eye drops may help, but in reality, dry eye often requires longer-term treatments that create lasting change.
The good news is Oregon Eye Specialists has a full range of treatment options and a talented team of physicians who can get at the root cause of your discomfort. Read on to explore one of the most common dry eye causes, blepharitis, and the new technology that presents promise for relief.
What is Blepharitis – and could it affect you?
One of the leading causes of dry eye is blepharitis – an inflammation of the eyelids in which they become red, irritated and itchy. Although this condition can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender, it typically becomes more prevalent in older adults as tears contain less antibodies with age.
What are the causes and symptoms of blepharitis?
Most often, blepharitis is caused by an overgrowth of normal bacteria that live along the eyelid. In turn, this bacteria traps toxins – leading to eyelid swelling, damaged tear glands, and dandruff-like scales that form on the eyelashes.
People with blepharitis may encounter any or all of the following symptoms:
- Dry eyes
- Gritty or burning sensation
- Excessive tearing
- Red and swollen eyelids
- Crusting of the eyelids
In more serious cases, blepharitis can lead to more serious outcomes, such as blurry vision or inflammation of the cornea.
But how do you know if you’re suffering from blepharitis or a milder form of dry eye? The best way to find out is to schedule a comprehensive eye examination. Your physician will perform tests and examine your medical history to get at the root of the issue and recommend next steps.
BlephEx™: An innovative solution to dry eye
The good news? Oregon Eye Specialists is now offering BlephEx – the latest treatment for dry eye that helps treat Blepharitis. BlephEx is a new, in-office procedure that allows your doctor to take an active role in treating dry eye and blepharitis.
With regular treatments, patients can finally enjoy a life free from the chronic and irritating symptoms associated with dry eye and blepharitis. Explore common questions and expert answers about the treatment:
What is BlephEx and how does it work?
BlephEx is an in-office procedure meant to remove excessive bacteria on the eyelid. In the procedure, an eye care professional uses a BlephEx hand piece to remove excess bacteria and toxins – similar to a dentist removing plaque during a teeth cleaning.
By keeping eyelids clean through this procedure, inflammation is reduced and symptoms can be dramatically improved. exfoliate the eyelids to remove excess bacteria and toxins – similar to a dentist removing plaque during a teeth cleaning.
What is a BlephEx treatment like? Is it uncomfortable?
The BlephEx® treatment is well tolerated and only takes about 6-8 minutes to perform. In fact, most patients simply report a tickling sensation. Plus, to further increase comfort, a numbing drop is usually placed in each eye prior to treatment.
How many BlephEx treatments are recommended?
After the procedure, the patient is instructed on how to maintain their clean eyelids with regular nightly lid hygiene. Since home treatments are only semi-effective, we typically encourage our patients to repeat BlephEx treatments in 4-6 month intervals.
Will insurance cover BlephEx for dry eye?
BlephEx can save patients hundreds of dollars in costs of prescription drops and artificial tears. However, it is currently not covered by insurance.
OES provides hope for dry eye solutions
BlephEx is a promising solution for those suffering from dry eye – and fortunately, there are many ways to treat this condition. In fact, some patients see best results with a combination of treatments. Your eye doctor can create a customized treatment plan to reduce your symptoms and get you back to your favorite activities.
Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation today! Call 503-935-5580 to get started.