Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Treatment Options

  • First, what is a Meibomian gland? Meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and named after Dr. Heinrich Meibom, who first noticed and made drawings of them, all the way back in 1666. There are a lot of them: 25 to 40 Meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20 to 30 in the lower lid. They secrete oil onto the eye’s surface to help prevent tears from evaporating. When the amount or quality of this oil is compromised, or the gland itself becomes blocked or otherwise changes, MGD can be the result.
  • What puts you at risk for Meibomian gland dysfunction? As is the case with many other eye issues, the risk of MGD increases as you age. If you wear eye makeup and don’t thoroughly remove it from around your eyes, especially before bed, it can raise your risk of MGD. There may be a connection between contact lens wear and MGD, though most researchers agree that there’s not enough evidence yet to determine that conclusively.
  • What are the symptoms of MGD? Redness, gritty sensation, itchy feeling in your eyes, and blurred vision are the primary symptoms. You might also have irritated and inflamed eyelids. Many people with MGD have an uneven, rough-looking inner rim of the eyelid. Symptoms can get worse if the air is very dry, or if you spend a lot of time focused on a computer screen. To diagnose MGD, your doctor might apply pressure to your eyelid and observe the Meibomian gland’s secretions.
  • How is Meibomian gland dysfunction treated? MGD can be treated with warm compresses and eyelid massage, but that is not always effective. Two of the most effective treatments and newest are LipiFlow and Intense Pulsed Light.
    • LipiFlow: LipiFlow thermal pulsation system uses both heat and pulsed pressure in a two-part approach. While applying heat to the eyelids in order to melt the waxy deposits in the Meibomian glands, it applies pulsed pressure to the eyelid, opening the glands to thoroughly express their contents.
    • Intense Pulsed Light: In this procedure, the doctor applies shields, on the face and around the eyes to protect the eyes from the light. After applying a thin layer of cooling gel to the treatment area, the doctor will then use a small handheld device to flash intense pulses of light around the eyelids. The contents of the Meibomian glands are then expressed.

If you’re looking for an eye specialist familiar with the most up-to-date treatments for Meibomian gland dysfunction, trust the experience and knowledge of the doctors at Spindel Eye Associates. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

 

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