1. How does BlephEx® work?
Answer: Blepharitis and Dry Eye Disease is caused by a low-grade, chronic inflammation of the eyelids, that gets worse throughout a patients lifetime, damaging the glands that produce normal tears and eventually leading to blepharitis and dry eye disease.
BlephEx® is a doctors cleaning procedure that removes the source of inflammation by cleaning off the biofilm from the lid margin, like a dentist removing plaque during a teeth cleaning. This biofilm is produced by the normal bacteria living on the lid margin, so it will eventually return to cause inflammation again, so the cleaning procedure should be repeated every 4 to 6 months.
2. Where can I get a BlephEx® procedure performed?
Answer: BlephEx® is performed in doctors offices all over the world. On our website go to our DOCTOR LOCATOR MAP (make this an active link) to find a practice near you who performs the cleaning procedure. Enter your zip code or use the + (plus) button to simply zoom in to your area.
3. Does insurance cover the cost?
Answer: No, BlephEx® is a brand new cleaning procedure for dry eye and is not covered by insurance. It is a private pay procedure but will typically be less expensive than a years worth of prescription drops, artificial tears, ointments, copays, etc, that have little to no effect on your disease.
4. How much will it cost?
Answer: We don't keep track of what offices charge for BlephEx®. Each practice is different depending on geographic location. The best thing to do is to call the practice near you and find out.
5. How soon will I notice a difference?
Answer: It really depends on the stage of your blepharitis/dry eye disease and how many years you have had it. Many patients feel a difference before they leave the doctors practice. But if you have sustained significant damage to your tear glands, it may take months before you notice a difference. Some people need multiple cleaning procedures before they begin to feel better.
6. How common is blepharitis or dry eye disease?
Answer: It has been estimated that up to 2/3 of all patients walking into an eye doctors office have some level of lid margin disease.
7. How many times should I have the BlephEx® procedure performed?
Answer: Just like the mouth is full of bacteria and needs constant and regular hygiene to prevent gingivitis, so do the eyelids need constant and regular hygiene to help prevent blepharitis and dry eye disease. It is recommended that BlephEx® be repeated every 4 to 6 months. This keeps the number of bacteria to a minimum, and helps prevent a reformation of the biofilm. If the cleaning procedures are stopped, the biofilm will reform, the chronic inflammation will return.
8. Does BlephEx® hurt?
Answer: Your doctor will put in numbing drops which make the cleaning procedure very well tolerated. Most patients report a tickling sensation, but no pain. The harder your doctor presses on your lids during the cleaning procedure, the MORE comfortable the cleaning procedure will be!
9. Will BlephEx® cleaning procedure interfere with my glaucoma medicines?
Answer: No, it is recommended you continue all of your other drops that any eye doctor has you on.
10. Can I perform BlephEx® at home?
Answer: No, due to the close proximity of the eye, BlephEx® is only to be performed by a professional eye care specialist or trained staff, in an office or hospital setting.
11. I wear contact lenses. Should I have a BlephEx® procedure on my eyelids?
Answer: Absolutely yes. Contact lens wearers are 10 times more likely to develop an early biofilm and will get inflammatory damage to their tear glands much earlier in life. Having regular BlephEx® cleaning procedures performed every 6 months will keep your tear glands healthy and help you avoid a condition known as "Contact Lens Intolerance", a condition in which the eye begins to reject the wear of a contact lens due to constant exposure to the inflammatory factors of the biofilm.
12. Are there any side effects?
Answer: The main side effect is that your eyes are going to feel better than they have felt in years. You just had a 30, 40, 50, even 60 year old biofilm removed from your eyelid. You will finally be able to blink more easily without your lids feeling sticky. Most patients say that they feel a slight irritation afterwards along with a little bit of redness that typically resolves within a few minutes or hours. After all, you just had your biofilm removed from your eyelids for the first time!