Shady Grove Eye & Vision Care
15200 Shady Grove Rd #100 Rockville MD 20850 +1 301-670-1212 $$

(301) 281-6831

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Meibomitis and Dry Eye Treatment

Both meibomitis and dry eye sufferers often experience similar symptoms including the feeling that there is grit or sand in their eye. However, these two conditions are not the same and require different types of treatment.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the surface of our eyes are not sufficiently lubricated. The two main causes of dry eye are inadequate tear volume and poor quality tears. Our eyes rely on our tears to stay moist and lubricated, but if we aren’t able to produce enough tears, or the tears don’t contain enough oil or mucin, our eyes become irritated.

If you suspect you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome we recommend you take our complimentary dry eye questionnaire.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and Meibomitis

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a condition that affects the quality of the tears we produce. The meibomian glands are responsible for adding oil to our tears, which keeps them from evaporating too quickly. If it is accompanied by inflammation it is referred to as meibomitis. Swelling or inflammation can further restrict oil production, making the problem worse.

Differentiating Meibomitis from Dry Eye Syndrome

Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the most common causes of evaporative dry eye, which occurs when our tears evaporate too quickly. However, not all cases of dry eye syndrome are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. Since these two conditions are interrelated they share similar, but not identical, symptoms.

Meibomitis Symptoms

Symptoms of meibomitis may include:

  • An itching or burning sensation
  • Red eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Redness and/or swelling around the edge of the eyelid

Dry Eye Symptoms

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome may include:

  • An itching or burning sensation
  • Red eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Aching sensation
  • Heavy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light

Treatment of Meibomitis & Dry Eye Syndrome

Clinical Options

There are a variety of clinical options for treating meibomitis and dry eye syndrome. These include:

  • Meibomian gland probing: Meibomian gland probing is a simple and effective way for your optometrist to unclog your meibomian glands. First, your optometrist will use anesthetic eye drops to numb your eye. Next, they will use a hand-held instrument to gently probe and dilate the openings of your meibomian glands, which are located near the base of your eyelashes and remove the waxy deposits that are clogging your glands. After the procedure, your optometrist may prescribe you some corticosteroid eye drops.
  • LipiFlow: LipiFlow is an in-office procedure that uses gentle heat to melt the waxy deposits inside your meibomian glands. The LipiFlow system also uses gentle pulses of pressure to open your meibomian glands and gently push the melted waxy deposits out of your glands. LipiFlow treatments typically take about 12 minutes per eye.

At Home Options

There are also a variety of at-home treatments that you can use to manage the symptoms of your dry eyes or meibomitis. These include:

  • Antibacterial eye drops: Depending on your unique vision needs and the severity of your symptoms your optometrist may recommend that you use antibacterial eye drops to treat your meibomitis or dry eye syndrome.
  • Cyclosporine eye drops: Cyclosporine eye drops, such as Restasis, are used to modify our body’s immune response in a particular way. The mediation found in Restasis or other prescription eye drops can be used to manage dry eye syndrome symptoms.
  • Omega-3 Supplements: Some optometrists may recommend that you take dietary supplements in addition to one of the other treatments previously discussed. Omega-3 Fatty Acids may reduce your chances of developing dry eye syndrome or meibomian gland dysfunction in the future by preventing waxy deposits from building up.
  • Warm Compress: Depending on the severity of your dry eye syndrome or meibomitis you may be able to use a warm compress to gain temporary relief from your symptoms.

Preventative Measures

By ensuring your diet contains sufficient amounts of Omega 3 Fatty Acids you may be able to prevent your meibomian glands from becoming clogged. However, you should talk to your optometrist or family doctor before you begin taking any supplements.

Written by 4ecps

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15200 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100
Rockville, MD, 20850

Contact Information

Phone: (301) 670-1212

Shady Grove Care Hours

In addition to our office hours, we offer a 24-hour emergency answering service available to all established patients.

Monday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 6 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Appointment Only
Sunday: Closed

Additional Notes

We will not be open on Saturday, September 18, 2021

We will no longer be open on Saturdays starting in October until further notice.