With review and contributions from Ophthalmologists Kashyap Kansupada, MD (Belmont, Huntersville), and Casey Mathys, MD (SouthPark, Belmont, Pineville) Blepharitis is a chronic inflammatory eye condition that can be irritating and painful, and can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, a new treatment called BlephEx may help patients with this condition. What is blepharitis? Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that can be caused by an infection of skin bacteria or mites called demodex, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Casey Mathys, MD, said. Blepharitis typically affects adults as they mature. Blepharitis most often appears in two forms. In the first, the skin gets dry and scaly. In the second, hard, matted crusts form around the eyelashes, and when removed can leave small ulcers. In both cases, people’s eyelashes may either thin or fall out, the margins of their eyelids become red and may distort, or they may have chronic, episodic tearing. They may also experience dry eye syndrome due to the destruction of the oil-producing glands in the eyelids that protect the important tear film layer of the eye from evaporating. Other symptoms may include burning, stinging, feeling like there is something in or poking the eye, sensitivity to light, and/or eye pain. What is BlephEx? BlephEx is a device used to treat many of these chronic and irritating symptoms caused by dry eye and blepharitis. With the aid of an eyelid cleanser, a tiny, medical-grade sponge spins rapidly to remove inflammatory biofilm made by bacteria and skin mites and clean eyelid margins by exfoliating the eyelid at the eyelash line. Is BlephEx a complicated procedure? Not at all. BlephEx only takes a few minutes and is performed in your doctor’s office. Once you’re done, you can go back to your normal activities. Will I have to go back for another treatment? Because blepharitis is a chronic condition, you may have to return to your doctor for repeat treatments. The number of return treatments will vary depending on the patient, but patients typically will need to go one to three times a year. A topical, over-the-counter spray can help maintain control between BlephEx treatments. This is similar to brushing one’s teeth between biannual dental cleanings, CEENTA Ophthalmologist Kashyap B. Kansupada, MD, said. Now that you've read about BlephEx, check out the video below to see it in action! This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. If you would like an appointment with Dr. Kansupada or Dr. Mathys for BlephEx treatment, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.