WHAT IS DRY EYE / ANTERIOR BLEPHARITIS SYNDROME?
Anterior blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eye lid margin caused by an over population of naturally occuring organisms at the lid edge. These organisms produce toxic byproducts that cause inflammation along the eyelid margin resulting in redness, swelling, irritation and crusting. These changes in the lid structure results in the quality and quantity of tears being produced.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYE / BLEPHARITIS SYNDROME?
The symptoms of anterior blepharitis include scratchy eyes, tearing, itchy lid margins, lid and lash crusting, eye rubbing, lid debris, and redness of the eyes and lids.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR DRY EYE / ANTERIOR BLEPHARITIS
BlephEx is a painless in-office proceedure that thoroughly cleanses the eyelids, removing excess biofilm that naturally accumulates due to the natural flora on our skin. The handpiece spins a disposable micro-sponge tip that precisely cleans along the eyelid edge and lashes removing debris and gently exfoliating the lid surface. The proceedure takes approimately 10-15 minutes and is well tolerated with most patients reporting a tickling sensation.
Typically the BlephEx treatment is followed by home maintainence using warm compresses and lid scrubs daily to maintain optimal lid health and hygiene. Blephex may need to be repeated each 4-6 months if symptoms reappear.
Warm compress therapy at home
This is a home-based proceedure that is typically performed twice daily, usually as part of a maintainence eyelid cleansing routine. We recommend warm compresses using a heated Bruder Eye Mask which provides consistent moist heat over the eyelids for 10 minutes. A warm face-cloth can not reproduce the ideal length of heating time required to the eyelid surface. The Bruder Eye Mask contains MediBeads which absorb and then release moist heat directly to the oil glands of the eye lids. The eye mask can be re-used and is simply heated in a microwave. The heating and massage treatment promotes the secretion of natural oils from the meibomian glands, helping improve tear surface quality and reducing eyelid inflammation. This is followed by cleansing of the eyelid margins with Blephadex Foam Cleanser or Sterilid Cleanser to remove any residual oils and crusting or flaking.
Eyelid cleansing at home
Sterilid is a foam spray that cleanses oily deposits from the eyelid margins and helps remove unwanted bacteria. Sterilid is pH balanced to the skin and is very gentle on the eyelid surface whilst effectively cleansing the area. This proceedure of warming, massage, followed by cleansing is an important ongoing routine required to manage the symptoms of blepharitis, however as symptoms improve the frequency of lid cleansing may be reduced.
Eyelid maintainence with Omega-3 capsules
Omega-3 oils have been shown to significantly improve MGD and dry eye symptoms. The essential fatty acids contained within omega-3 capsules provide an anti-inflammatory effect which helps reduce the inflammation associated with blepharitis and dry eye. A second benefit of these essential fatty acids is the improvement in quality of oils secreted by the meibomian glands. This improves overall tear quality and reduces the effects of evaporation from the tear surface. Theratears Nutrition contains two types of omega-3s derived from flaxseed oil and fish oil. Theratears Nutrition also contains Vitamin E which helps prevent oxidation of the omega-3 oils and helps the efficient metabolism of omega-3 in the body.
Eyelid maintainence with Optimel Manuka Honey
Optimel ophthalmic ointment gel and Optimel eye drops contain antibacterial manuka honey. Typically patients with blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction have an over growth of natural bacteria on the lid margin. Optimel specifically reduces this overpopulation of bacteria and improves the health of the eye and lid surfaces while reducing inflammation.
Optimel is available in two strengths, with the ointment being used for more advance lid disease. Some stinging is noted on application of the ointment, which disappears after 60 seconds. The eye drop form is half the concentration of the ointment gel form and is generally well tolerated. As Optimel eye drops and gel are often not readlly avaiable from all pharmacies, this practice always holds stock of both Optimel Manuka Honey eye drops and Optimel Manuka Honey gel.