Ever have dry, filmy or watery eyes? These can be symptoms of dry eyes and meibomian glands dysfunction.
Dry eye disease is a common condition, especially with increasing screen and device use. Dry eyes can affect your daily life to the point that it becomes troublesome. It’s best to deal with the condition now so that you can keep living life your way.
Traditionally, the only solution for dry eyes are eyedrops and artificial tears. But as the eye care industry continuously progress, new treatments are being developed. Blephasteam is one of the latest treatment for dry eyes and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction available today.
Keep reading to learn more about this innovative treatment and why it’s worth a try.
What is Blephasteam?
Originating from the studies of Dr JR Fuller, a British ophthalmic surgeon, Blephasteam is a revolutionary medical device that uses heat therapy to treat several eye conditions. Dr Fuller’s studies suggest the need for daily applications of heat and humidity to the affected eye to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and other associated eye conditions like dry eyes, ocular rosacea, blepharitis and more.
Blephasteam is a goggle-like device with removable moistened rings that provides humidity to the eye and surrounding areas. Blephasteam goggles provide humidity, unlike other treatments that use heat solely. Depending on the patient’s eye condition, the Blephasteam goggles can be worn for different lengths of time to improve the eyes.
Blephasteam is an excellent medical device to treat Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, the leading cause of dry eye disease.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
As the name suggests, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD is the abnormality in the meibomian glands (or tarsal glands) which are responsible for supplying the eyes with meibum, an oily substance that keeps the eye moisturized.
Meibomian gland dysfunction happens when there is a blockage or clogging in the meibomian glands that prevent them from secreting sufficient oil into tears. Without enough and high-quality oil, the eye becomes dry, irritated and filmy.
MGD is a common eye condition and also one of the leading causes of dry eye disease. Almost 80% of dry eye cases can be traced back to MGD. Blephasteam helps unblock the meibomian glands.
How Does Blephasteam Work?
Since Blephasteam provides both heat and moist therapy, it is effective in improving symptoms of several eye conditions and in providing better vision and comfort.
Blephasteam applies constant gentle heat typically above 40 degrees to the eyelids. The heat therapy of Blephasteam melts the hardened oils and waxes that clog the meibomian glands. At the same time, Blephasteam improves blood flow in the treated eye area and the oil flow in the tear surface area.
Blephasteam treatment requires the use of disposable rings, which are wet with a saline solution that prevents dryness during the therapy. The additional moisture that comes with the treatment helps reduce eye irritation, sore eyes, crusting and other symptoms related to dry eye disease. It can also indirectly help eye inflammation associated with dry eyes, MGD and other eye conditions.
How Effective is Blephasteam?
Several studies show the efficiency, safety and acceptability of Blephasteam treatment.
In a study with 73 patients treated twice a day for 21 days, almost 84% rated the effectiveness of the treatment as satisfactory or very satisfactory.
Majority of the patients found the overall treatment comfortable. They can do activities like watching television, reading books and using their computers while undergoing therapy.
Blephasteam is a safe and convenient eye treatment. There were no adverse events or safety issues reported during the 21-day treatment in the study mentioned above. In terms of global safety, Blephasteam was rated satisfactory or very satisfactory by 90% of patients.
Backed by several studies and eye care specialists worldwide, Blephasteam is highly acceptable and recommended as MGD and dry eye disease treatment.
Blephasteam vs. Traditional Warm Compress
But, isn’t Blephasteam just like a warm compress? What makes Blephasteam more favourable than the traditional warm compress?
A three-month clinical study of eyelid warming treatments for MGD cases also supports the efficacy of Blephasteam compared to warm towel compress for MGD treatment. After three months of treatment, 78.3% of patients who underwent the treatment reported improvement compared to the 45.5% for the traditional warm compress patients.
The traditional warm compress makes it hard for patients to apply the warm cloth in the correct position, at the best temperature and for the required time. Blephasteam treatment is far more effective than the traditional warm compress since it can provide optimal temperature directly to the oil glands for an extended period.
Why Use Blephasteam?
People who have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or Dry Eyes may benefit from Blephasteam.
- Improve tear quality and stability.
- Significant short term and longer benefits
- Humidity inside feels comfortable on the eyes
- The therapy itself is safe and convenient. Since it only takes almost 30 minutes per session (preheating of the device included), you can easily fit it with your schedule.
Contact your eye care provider now for a comprehensive eye exam and see if Blephasteam is indeed the perfect treatment for you.
How to Use Blephasteam
It can be done at an appointment, or at home. The device must be plugged 15 minutes before use to allow preheating. Typically the temperature increases to around 42 degrees. This helps to melt cloudy, clogged meibum and make it runny again.
The treatment only takes up to 30 minutes per session. For in-office treatments, manual expression of the glands is also advised. It is advisable for an optometrist or ophthalmologist to do this. Massaging the eyes can damage delicate eye structures. For in-home treatments, eye massage is skipped and the wearer can resume daily activities immediately.
A full package typically comes with eye-warming goggles, disposable rings and other gear (electric plug, handbook, a storage pouch, etc.). The rings must be replaced every time you use the device.
How many treatments are required? That depends on the severity of your eye condition and the treatment plan set up for you by your eye doctor. For mild cases of MGD, a single session can already provide a significant improvement. Severe cases, on the other hand, may require multiple sessions weekly.
It is best to go to an eye clinic for a Blephasteam treatment, but there is also a take-home version of the device available online and other eye clinics. The cost of the treatment or device can vary depending on the clinic or the brand.
Find a Dry Eye Practitioner near you. Tap this link to learn more and to book an appointment.