Meibomian glands line are tiny, sebaceous glands located near the edges of your eyelids. They are responsible for coating the surface of your eyes with oil, preventing your tear film from evaporating too quickly. Obstructions or functional irregularities with these glands may lead to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
Read on as Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, your trusted provider of laser eye surgery and other eye care services, discusses this condition in detail.
What Causes MGD
Changes to the quality or amount of oil that your meibomian glands produce can lead to clogging, which causes MGD. Increasing age is the biggest risk factor for developing MGD. As you age, hormonal changes cause your meibomian glands to decrease in number. Individuals who wear contact lenses and people of Asian descent are also at a higher risk of developing MGD.
MGD is often asymptomatic in the early stages. As the condition progresses, the reduced oil in your eyes may eventually result in dry eye syndrome. When this happens, your eyes may become red, itchy and watery, and a crusty film may develop on the edge of your eyelids. You may have blurry vision at times as well. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your eye care specialist for a comprehensive eye exam.
Ways to Manage MGD
You can get relief from MGD by applying a warm compress to your eyes. The heat helps dissolve the oils that have dried up to prevent them from blocking your meibomian glands. Your eye doctor may also recommend using the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System to manage your MGD. This procedure involves the use of Vector Thermal Pulse Technology™ to apply carefully calculated amounts of heat and pressure to your eyelids. This mobilizes obstructions in your meibomian glands, allowing natural oils to flow freely.
For more information about MGD and our LipiFlow System, call us at (301) 859-4060. You may also fill out our form to request an appointment. We serve Washington, DC, Rockville, MD, and Alexandria, VA.