What is Blephasteam?
Blephasteam is a new device designed for the treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), dry eyes, and blepharitis. It was developed by Laboratories Thea and Dr. J.R. Fuller.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Dry Eyes
The meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and produce the lipid material that forms the outer layer of the normal tear film. It is responsible for keeping the liquid portion of the tear film from evaporating from the surface of the eye. The evaporation of the tears results in the person developing dry eye syndrome. Meibomian gland dysfunction may be responsible for as much as eighty five percent of dry eye cases.
Blepharitis is an inflammatory and/or infectious disease of the eyelids located around the area of the eyelashes. It is caused by seborrheic skin condition, inflammatory disease such as rosacea, and/or staphylococcus bacteria infecting the area around the eyelids. Blepharitis can be a chronic disease and contributes to the development of meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eyes.
Blephasteam is a device that contains two eye pieces or goggle-like apparatus with water tight chambers that fits around the orbit or ocular area. A removable moistened ring saturates each chamber with humidity. This facilitates heat transfer from a controlled safe heat source. The patient is able to continue blinking which helps with the meibomian gland empty their lipid material. The patient is able to see out of the goggles while the treatment is in progress.
The Blephasteam unit should be plugged in fifteen minutes before use to allow for preheating. The Blephasteam rings must be moistened with mineral water or saline solution and placed inside the goggles. The rings are for single use and are thrown away after each use. New rings must be used for each treatment to ensure proper hygiene.
The Blephasteam treatment is recommended to be used twice a day. The unit has to be plugged into an electrical outlet. The temperature rise of the Blephasteam has been measured to rise to 42 degrees C. This temperature meets the melting point of the meibum (lipid) in the meibomian glands. This makes it easier for the glands to empty their contents.
The Blephasteam treatment is ten minutes in duration. The Blephasteam device is removed and the rings thrown away. Blephasteam is a single use device and must be cleaned carefully with the dry blue cloth or alcohol wipe after each use. The eyelids should be messaged and cleaned after the treatment is completed.
Contacts should be removed before treatment and no eye drops for fifteen minutes after treatment.
Availability of Blephasteam
Blephasteam is available in the United Kingdom and Europe. At this time, it is not available in the United States.
Blephasteam is a simple safe and effective method of treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction and dry eye syndrome. The device delivers a controlled level of moist heat to the eyelids. This promotes the secretion of the lipid material from the meibomian glands providing improvement in the quality of the tear film, comfort of the eye, and visual acuity. Blephasteam should be considered as one of the treatment regimes for dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction.