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Blepharitis Specialist

Center for Sight of New York

Comprehensive Ophthalmology Specialists located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

If you have trouble with sticky, crusty eyelashes and find it hard to open your eyes in the morning, it could be due to a bacterial infection called blepharitis. The team at the Center for Sight of New York provides effective cleaning of troublesome eyelids using BlephEx™ technology, which gently removes the buildup of debris. If you live or work in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in New York City, you can take advantage of the exceptional services available at the Center for Sight of New York by calling the office today or requesting an appointment online.

Blepharitis Q&A

What is blepharitis?

Blepharitis is a condition that affects your eyelids. It’s a chronic inflammatory disease that develops when there’s an overgrowth of bacteria on your eyelid and around the roots of your eyelashes. 

You can get blepharitis at any age, but it’s more common as you get older. This is because the number of natural antibodies in your tears declines over the years. The resulting bacterial overgrowth creates a biofilm, which acts as a trap for dust, debris, and dead skin flakes.

Bacterial toxins also develop in the lid margin and can penetrate the eyelid. This leads to low-grade inflammation and reduces tear production. Your eyes then get caught in a vicious cycle where lack of tears and lack of antibodies in the tears encourages the growth of more bacteria.

The result is dry eye and long-term irritation. Eyelids are hard to clean, which means the biofilm and the bacteria and debris within it can build up over the years. The resulting inflammation can lead to long-term eyelid and tear gland damage.

What are the symptoms of blepharitis?

Blepharitis symptoms include:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Gritty feeling eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Greasy eyelids 
  • Itchy eyelids
  • Red, swollen eyelids
  • Flaking skin 
  • Sticking eyelids 
  • Frequent blinking
  • Sensitivity to light

A common symptom of blepharitis is crusty eyelashes in the morning that can be hard to unstick. Your eyelashes might start growing abnormally (misdirected eyelashes) or fall out altogether.

How is blepharitis treated?

The first stage in treating blepharitis is to clean and exfoliate your eyelids and eyelashes. This removes the biofilm, debris, and bacteria. The team at the Center for Sight of New York uses the BlephEx handheld device to clean your eyelids.

BlephEx works by spinning a tiny medical grade sponge on your eyelids and the roots of your eyelashes. Under the precise and careful guidance of your expert provider at Center for Sight of New York, BlephEx safely eliminates the scurf and other particles and exfoliates the treatment area. 

Removing the biofilm and debris also gets rid of the bacteria, although you might need to have regular cleanings to keep bacterial growth under control. Some patients might also need to take antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications orally or as eye drops or ointment.

Keeping blepharitis in check with these treatments also helps prevent damage to your tear glands and the development of chronic dry eye syndrome.

If you have any symptoms of blepharitis, call Center for Sight of New York today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment online.