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Zapping blepharitis: From dry to sparkling eyes

Presenting with a case of gritty eyelid, travel writer Nick Constance drops in at the Cadogan Clinic for a Spring Clean.

Have you ever been iLashed? No, of course you haven’t, I’ve pretty much just made the phrase up.

What if I asked if you’d recently had your eyelashes cleaned of gunk – and believe me, you will have gunky lids.

If you don’t believe me, book a session at The Cadogan Clinic in Chelsea, where they’ll put you under a high-powered microscope and show you a veritable rock garden of grime.

How do I know this? Well, I recently paid a visit and was persuaded to undergo a good iLashing.

Only, they don’t call it this, they call it a BlephEX – the word attributed to the actual machine as well as the verb for the procedure.

BlephEx is a hand-held instrument with a spinning medical grade micro-sponge soaked in cleaning solution that removes biofilm from a patient’s lid margins and reduces inflammation, says James M. Rynerson, president and CEO of BlephEx LLC

On The Lash

The procedure – carried out by Consultant Opthalmic and Ocuplastic Surgeon Elizabeth Hawkes – is most beneficial in combating Dry Eye Disease, Contact Lens Discomfort, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Blepharitis: a debilitating condition associated with inflammation of the eyes.

“It can, in turn, lead to cysts and conjunctivitis, especially if left untreated,” says Dr Hawkes.

So, what’s the deal with BlephEx? I hear you ask? What the heck is it?

Previous studies have showed that BlephEx significantly increased tear breakup time, improved meibomian gland function and reduced inflammation

Jeepers Creepers

OK, well it goes something like this: A BlephEx machine glides a soft, medical-grade sponge across the eyelids whilst it spins to effectively remove the debris and bacteria causing blockages of the glands in and around the eyes.

These glands normally produce oils, which keep the eyes clean and lubricated. but when the surface of the eye is drier than normal, the eyelids pick up debris that hasn’t been washed away.

So BlephEx unblocks these oil glands, effectively removing the grit, leaving you with fresher, cleaner eyes.

How Does It Feel?

Well, I can report there’s no discomfort. On the contrary, it’s like hitting the ‘factory reset button’ on my face. Now I can smile and my eyes look like I mean it.

Dr Hawkes warns I may have a small amount of redness in the coming days, but I shouldn’t have to retreat into A-list-style exile to recover.

The Cadogan Clinic is an award-winning private hospital on Sloane Street in the heart of Chelsea, London

Post treatment

Before I leave I’m handed a care plan, which includes instructions on the use of eye drops, cleansing wipes, heat therapy and Omega 3 tablets. For optimum sparkle, I was advised to repeat my procedure within 6 months. This will be reviewed nearer the time, however.

There’s certainly a buoyant energy about this place. It’s more of a trendy, Wellness Centre, than a Beauty Clinic. More lifestyle vibe, than sick-bay.

Final word goes to Dr Elizabeth Hawkes. She says: “When BlephEX is done correctly, it can absolutely change people’s lives.”


BlephEx treatments start at £200
Ophthalmic consultations from £250