Meibomian gland dysfunction (or MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye symptoms. The meibomian glands are a group of a few dozen glands in the eyelids that produce the oily layer of the tear. When they don’t function properly the tears in our eyes evaporate and we are left with dry eyes. MGD broadly refers to any condition that affects the meibomian glands ability to work properly, however, the most common type of MGD is Obstructive MGD, in which the meibomian glands become clogged. The clog hinders their ability to secrete enough oil to keep the eyes properly moist.
The development of MGD can be contributed to many factors, though anyone can develop it. One of the factors is age. As we grow older the number of meibomian glands we have decreases. MGD can affect people of any age and has many other contributing factors such as wearing eye makeup, wearing contact lens, and excessive screen use.
There are several treatment options for Obstructive MGD that have long-term effects:
1: Eye drops – Have short term effects and can relieve the symptoms of MGD, though they won’t treat the underlying issue with the glands.
2: Intense Pulse Light (IPL) – Applied along with an eyelid message, IPL can be used to unclog the meibomian glands and with in a few treatments offers relief that will last from 6 months to a year.
3: Lipiflow – a thermal pulsation system that heats the eyelid to melt the waxy deposits clogging the meibomian glands and applying pressure to clear out the contents of the glands at the same time. It was designed to do this while also protecting the eyeball, while providing long term relief.
If you suffer from dry eye or have questions you would like to speak to Dr. Concool about your Dry Eyes, you can schedule a Dry Eye Evaluation here to find the best relief for your particular symptoms.