Biofilm build up at the base of the lashes can cause inflammation, irritation and cause the lashes to grown inwards.
Blephex treatment of the lids
Patient with Blephasteam goggles on
If you have scratchy, itchy, dry, irritated or even watery eyes then you should have a full assessment of your eyelids to rule out what is causing these uncomfortable feelings. Once we have a diagnosis of what is causing the irritation we can work to alleviate these symptoms with either in-house treatments or take home treatments.
The common cause of these symptoms are either dry eye syndrome or blepharitis. Blepharitis is a term that describes inflammation of the edge of the eyelids.
At Eyecare Plus we have geared up with equipment to treat dry eye using a system called Dry Eye Plus. See the Dry Eye Plus page for details.
If it is blepharitis that is causing your irritation then we have a number of ways to treat this depending on the cause.
Blepharitis is often caused by a build-up of biofilm on the base of the eyelashes. This build up causes an inflammatory response and the edge of the eyelids become, red, sore, gritty and itchy. The common cause of this build up is an infestation of a common parasite called dermodex. This is a microscopic parasite that inhabits your face. It eats dead skin, lives for about 10 days and dies leaving remnants of its dead self at the base of the eyelashes.
The build up of dead dermodex build up at the base of the eyelashes causing a crustiness that causes irritation, inflammation and irregular lid growth. Lashes can start to grow in toward to eye causing scratching and damage to the cornea.
This condition is treated by using a rotating brush to clean the lids and the use of a cleaner with a tea tree oil component kills the parasite. The treatment is done 10-14 days apart to kill the next lifecycle of the parasite. Each treatment is $60 and the average patient requires two treatments.
Blepharitis can also be caused by blockages in the glands at the edge of the lid that produce oil that makes up part of the tear film. These blockages can be due to poorer production of the glands, hardening of the secretions or infections. Your optometrists will assess if anti-inflammatory or antibiotic eye drops are needed but typically this is initially treated with heating the lids with a steam mask and expressing the glands to help open them up and give them a chance to retain their function. This treatment is called Blephasteam. Typically a patient will receive 3 treatments at a cost of $60 per treatment.
Meibomian Gland expression
This is done as part of a number of our lid hygiene treatments. The glands that produce oil as part of your tear layer can become blocked. The lids are heated with Blephsteam or IPL and following these treatments the glands are expressed to unblock them and help return their oil production to normal.
Intense Pulse Light
For those with severe dry eye a combination of treatments are done to give the best improvement in the lids as well as increase tear production to alleviate dry eye. Check out more details on our Intense Pulse Light (IPL) page.