Families in the dark about blepharitis

Jun 18, 2010

As part of last week's National Eye Health Week in the UK, Spectrum Théa, the independent ophthalmic company, looked at things from a patient's perspective.

As part of last week's National Eye Health Week in the UK, Spectrum Théa, the independent ophthalmic company, looked at things from a patient's perspective.

Twelve-year old Lewis Herbert from Kirkcaldy, Fife, had never heard of the eye condition, blepharitis, when it was diagnosed by an optometrist three years ago.

Lewis first started experiencing itchy, uncomfortable eyes at the age of nine. His mum, Lisa, took him to an optician who claimed he hadn't seen anything like it, when inspecting the sore, inflamed area and blisters around his eyes.

Lewis has been making trips every three months to his local hospital for areview of his condition. He suffers from blepharitis as part of a combination ofeye conditions.

Blepharitis is believed to affect up to 66 per cent of people who visitoptometrists and ophthalmologists with other eye conditions.1

Initially advised by his optometrist to bathe his eyes in baby shampoo torelieve his blepharitis symptoms, Lewis felt it wasn't effective but his mum wasn't made aware of any other products on the market.

As a concerned parent, Lisa felt frustrated by the lack of information available on the condition and strongly believes there is more to be done to educate people on it.

Lewis is now managing his condition with a number of treatments. One of which is a specialised preservative-free product, Blephaclean, which comes in the form of wipes and has removed the gunk from his eyes - a symptom which made Lewis particularly self-conscious.

As a keen amateur swimmer, Lewis has to be careful to limit his sessions in the pool as the chlorine can inflame his condition causing him increased discomfort.

Commenting on this, Lewis said: ։I'm a member of the local swimming club and really enjoy going to the pool but it can also make my condition flare up so it's good to have the wipes to hand and know they will calm my eyes down.”

His mum, Lisa, added: “It's hard seeing Lewis in such discomfort but it's good to know there are products out there to help alleviate his symptoms.

“As a parent I'm disappointed by the way there is so little information out there about conditions like blepharitis, especially as I see lots of kids like Lewis visiting optometrists for treatment. It's important time is taken to educate people so they're not kept in the dark about conditions that can easily have an impact on their lives. ”

1. The research into the prevalence of blepharitis was carried out by Dr Juan Manual Benitez and revealed it is the most frequent condition observed in ophthalmic practice.

Source: www.spectrum-thea.co.uk

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