One of the leading causes of blepharitis and dry eye syndrome is meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD for short. According to recent studies, about 59 percent of all adults in the U.S. experience at least one symptom of MGD. But as common as it is, most people do not even realize they have this eye condition.
You develop this condition when there is a problem with some of the tiny glands in your eyelids. These are the glands that produce the oily layer of your tears. If you have this condition, your tiny meibomian glands may not produce enough oil, or they may produce poor-quality oil. This often results in inflamed eyelids and dry eyes. This condition may also lead to occasional blurry vision.
Initially, treatments may involve common home remedies, such as massage and warm compress. In some cases, your eye doctor may prescribe you eye drops. If your condition is more serious, your eye doctor may recommend in-office treatment.
One of the most important things you need to understand is that every case of meibomian gland dysfunction is different. Thus, your condition may require the use of more than one treatment option. Some of the most effective treatments to consider include:
Since MGD can lead to the buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil, many of the treatment approaches involve removing the debris. This will allow oil to flow freely from the meibomian glands to the eyes. You may need to perform the cleaning regimen once or twice a day depending on the severity of your symptoms.
For prevention, you can perform the regimen just once. This may include the following:
Gently use a Q-tip, cotton ball, cotton, swab, or clean washcloth to scrub along the eyelash line using a cleanser or diluted baby shampoo once a day
Use a warm compress to gently massage the areas above your eyelashes
After running a clean washcloth under warm water, wring it out and apply it to your eyelids for about five minutes at a time. This will heat the meibomian gland and soften areas with debris, allowing oil to flow more freely
However, as you scrub or rub near your eyes, you need to be extremely careful. The last thing you want is to scratch your cornea.
If you suffer from MGD, you should consider soothing your eyes with OTC emulsion drops containing lipids/oil. These eye drops may be beneficial when it comes to the stability and/or quality of your tear film. Furthermore, the use of oral supplements consisting of omega-3 fatty acids may work to reduce inflammation and improve the quality of your tears.
Your doctor may prescribe eye drops for MGD if your symptoms are serious enough to call for them. Some of the prescriptions you may receive include steroid drops, topical ophthalmic azithromycin, oral Vibramycin, Restasis eye drops, and more.
Also, eye doctors can physically alleviate symptoms of MGD in several ways. Some of the treatment approaches your doctor may recommend include BlephEx®, intraductal probing of your meibomian gland, debridement of your eyelids, LipiFlow®, and more.
MGD can cause blurry vision and eye discomfort, which can affect your quality of life. This condition can also make it difficult to accomplish tasks requiring sharp vision. Hence, it is important to work with your doctor to find the right treatment option for you.
To learn more about the meibomian gland dysfunction, contact Horizon Eye Care & Optical at our office in Sugar Land, Texas. You can call (281) 843-4020 today to schedule an appointment.