Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) might be one of the most typical eye issues you’ve never ever become aware of. Its odd-sounding name is probably part of the issue. Another name for MGD is “meibomianitis,” which sure isn’t any simpler to bear in mind!
Meibomian (“my-BOH-mee-an”) refers to a particular kind of gland in the eyelids. They are called after Heinrich Meibom, the German doctor who first described and made illustrations of them way back in 1666.
There have to do with 25 to 40 meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20 to 30 in the lower eyelid. The function of these glands is to produce oils onto the surface area of the eye. These oils help keep the tears from vaporizing too quickly.
Meibomian gland dysfunction is blockage or some other problem of the meibomian glands so they do not secrete enough oil into the tears. Since the tears then vaporize too quickly, MGD is a leading cause of dry eye syndrome. It likewise is associated with an eyelid problem called blepharitis.
See also: Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
MGD Risk Factors
There are a number of factors that can affect your risk of getting meibomian gland dysfunction.
Like the risk of dry eyes, the risk of MGD increases with age. People over age 40 have a considerably higher risk of establishing it than children or young people, and a study of 233 older grownups (91 percent male; average age 63) discovered that 59 percent had at least one sign of meibomian gland dysfunction.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) frequently is the underlying cause of dry eyes.
Your ethnic background likewise plays a role. Some studies have found that 46 to 69 percent of Asian populations in Thailand, Japan and China have meibomian gland dysfunction. By comparison, other studies have discovered that only 3.5 to 20 percent of whites in the United States and Australia have MGD.
Wearing eye makeup is another contributing cause. Eye liner and other makeup can obstruct the openings of meibomian glands. This is specifically true if you don’t completely clean your eyelids and remove all traces of eye makeup before sleep.
Some scientists think wearing contact lenses also may increase the risk of MGD. Current research has shown that alterations of the meibomian glands are connected with contact lens wear, which stopped use of contacts for as much as six months doesn’t remove these modifications. However it’s unclear whether contact lens wear actually causes meibomian gland dysfunction and most scientists state additional research study is had to determine if individuals who use contacts have a higher risk of MGD.
How Is MGD Detected?
The symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction — red eyes, a gritty sensation, itchy eyes, and blurred vision — are almost the same as those of dry eye syndrome.
Just your eye doctor can inform for sure if you have MGD.
One easy strategy your doctor may use is to apply pressure to your eyelid and thereby express the contents of the meibomian glands. Observing these secretions typically can make it possible for a skilled eye care expert to identify if you have meibomian gland dysfunction.
Meibomian glands secrete oils that stabilize the tear movie to keep the surface of the eye moist and comfortable.
Just recently, a company called TearScience developed a diagnostic tool called the Meibomian Gland Evaluator, which standardizes the quantity of force used for expressing meibomian glands. Utilizing this device might make it easier for your doctor to identify the presence or severity of MGD.
Because meibomian gland dysfunction impacts the stability of the tear movie, your doctor also may test the quality, quantity and stability of your tears.
One typical test is called the tear separation time (TBUT) test. This simple, painless procedure includes the application of a small amount of dye to the tear film on the front surface area of your eye. Your doctor then examines your eye with a cobalt blue light (which causes your tears to radiance) to see how quickly your tear film loses its stability (breaks up) on your eye.
Also read: Causes of Dry Eyes in the Morning
Treatment Of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
In the past, the common treatment advised for MGD was applying warm compresses to the eyelids, followed by massaging the eyelids. The goal of this treatment was to melt and express any thickened oil obstructing the openings of meibomian glands.
Warm compresses and eyelid massage typically will not efficiently ease MGD symptoms.
Regrettably, warm compresses and massage generally aren’t sufficient to adequately treat the problem and restore normal functioning of meibomian glands.
New, more effective treatment choices are now available. These consist of:
Meibomian gland penetrating. This is a simple technique carried out by your optometrist to unclog the opening and primary duct of your meibomian glands. After anesthetic eye drops are used to the eye, your doctor uses a hand-held instrument to probe and dilate the openings of your meibomian glands near the base of your eyelashes.
One study reported that 96 percent of patients had immediate relief of MGD symptoms after this procedure, and 100 percent experienced relief within one month. Another research study discovered 76 percent of patients with MGD who underwent meibomian gland probing gotten relief of symptoms one day after probing, and patients who received a mix of probing and treatment with corticosteroid eye drops had faster and more total relief of symptoms than those who were treated with corticosteroid eye drops alone.
Antibacterial eye drops. Some studies have actually revealed that antibacterial eye drops have actually assisted resolve meibomian gland dysfunction. During your eye exam, your optometrist will encourage you whether this is a great alternative for you.
Cyclosporine eye drops. Cyclosporine is an agent that modifies the body’s immune action in a specific method. This medication is found in the prescription eye drop Restasis (Allergan) that is used to manage dry eye symptoms.
LipiFlow. The LipiFlow thermal pulsation system (TearScience) is an in-office procedure that uses enough heat to the eyelids to melt waxy deposits in the meibomian glands. At the exact same time, it uses pulsed pressure to the eyelid to open and completely reveal the contents of the glands.
The LipiFlow device attaches to the eyelid for the 12-minute treatment session, and the system is developed so there is no transfer of heat or pressure from the eyelids to the eyeball itself. Recent studies have demonstrated that the process substantially reduces the symptoms and signs of meibomian gland dysfunction.
Omega-3 supplements. Some optometrist advise dietary supplements with omega-3 fatty acids as an adjunct treatment to among the MGD treatments above. A diet rich in omega-3s also may decrease the risk of future episodes of meibomian gland dysfunction. It appears these important fatty acids may assist suppress swelling connected with MGD and reduce the risk of waxy build-up within the meibomian glands.
See Your Eye Doctor To Get Relief
Remember, only your optometrist can inform for sure if you have meibomian gland dysfunction and determine the best MGD treatment choices for your specific requirements. If you experience dry, inflamed eyes, make a consultation for a detailed eye exam and dry eye assessment today.