Dr. Rosen speaks about the new exciting BlephEx™ technology
Can you explain what BlephEx™ is and what it is used for?
BlephEx™ is a simple office procedure used to clean off the scurf and bacterial debris that builds up along the eyelid margin. This debris is one of the main causes of blepharitis, inflammatory lid disease, which leads to dry eyes, burning eyes, fluctuating vision, foreign body sensation, mattering, crusting and other symptoms. Another cause of the blepharitis is clogged glands along the eyelid margin. Eventually, chronic eyelid inflammation and permanent damage to the eyelids and tear glands can develop The BlephEx™ instrument uses a small rotating sponge soaked in a special eyelid cleaning solution to quickly clean away and exfoliate the debris and help unclog the glands so more tears can be produced.
What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting?
This new instrument is the first of it’s kind. Previous treatments have been slow to work, require much commitment on the part of patients to follow daily scrubbing procedures, or simply ineffective. With BlephEx™, we can easily provide the treatment needed in our office. Patients get better faster.
Can you explain the patient experience when using BlephEx™?
The procedure is very simple for patients. We put a drop of anesthetic in the eyes, and patients report a slight tickling as the sponge moves over the eyelids.
Do your patients appreciate the upgrade in technology?
Patients are very appreciative and excited by this procedure. In the past, we would ask them to apply heat for 15 to 20 minutes once or twice a day followed by scrubbing with a rough washcloth. It might take several weeks to get relief and patients would typically give up before they got there. Even if they would diligently follow are prescribed treatment, often the result was not as good. Now we have a method that provides relief much more quickly. While we may still ask patients to use heat or eyelid cleansers, this now builds on the relief they already experience.
Are there specific patients for whom the use of BlephEx™ is particularly helpful or useful? Why?
Anyone who experiences the symptoms of blepharitis such as
- Itching or scratchy eyes,
- Foreign body sensation,
- Tearing, Crusting,
- Dry eyes or
- Eye rubbing,
should be evaluated. Anyone can get blepharitis at any age, but the prevalence increases with age, since as we get older, we make fewer natural antibodies in our tears. A study by Walter Reed Hospital determined that the prevalence of blepharitis increases to over 70% by age 65.