Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) the reason for your dry eyes?
Although MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) is one of the most common eye problems, most of the people are not aware of it. This particular issue is also known as Meibomianitis. The human eyelids consist of meibomian glands; up to 40 in the upper eyelid and up to 30 in the lower eyelid. A unique oil secreted by these glands (meibomian) works as a coating. This oily coating helps maintain the gentle dampness of the eyes; it slows down the evaporation of tears.
Just as the name suggests, Meibomian gland dysfunction refers to an irregularity of the glands. As a result of such deviation, the gland will fail to secrete an adequate amount of oil. In the absence of the aforesaid oily coating, the tears will evaporate quicker than usual. Simply put, Meibomian gland dysfunction can ultimately be a primary cause of dry eye syndrome.
What are the risks of getting Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
MGD can occur due to several reasons. One of the common causes of MGD is aging. In fact, your chances of experiencing MGD is higher if you are over 40. This eye problem is not that common among the youngsters and children, however.
In addition to aging, ethnicity too can be a significant cause behind MGD. For instance, MGD is commonly found among Asian populations.
If you wear eye makeup often, there is a higher chance of developing MGD in your eyes. Experts say that makeup substances like eyeliner can disturb the functionality of meibomian glands. It will eventually lead to MGD. Things can go from bad to worse if you don’t have a habit of cleaning the makeups correctly at the end of every day.
Constant usage of contact lenses can be another cause of MGD. When you wear contact lenses, the natural formation of the meibomian glands can be disturbed. As a result of that, the oil secretion can be reduced. However, this is not a scientifically proven fact yet.
How to diagnose MGD?
There are several ways to determine if someone has MGD.
- Experiencing red eye
- A gritty feeling in one or both the eyes
- Blurred vision
However, just because someone has one or more symptoms mentioned above, you shouldn’t be too quick to decide if he or she suffers from MGD. You cannot tell it for sure if someone has MGD unless you are a qualified eye doctor.
A qualified eye doctor will have to carefully observe the contents of your meibomian glands to tell whether you have MGM or not. If your meibomian glands don’t secrete enough oil, your tear film tends to evaporate sooner than usual.
Thanks to the advancements of the technology, there are tools to determine the severity of MGD of patients. With the assistance of these high-end tools, eye doctors can quickly tell whether or not you have MGD.
One f the most common tests carried out during the process is TBUT. It is the shortened form of Tear Breakup Time. During this test, the doctor will apply a particular type of dye on the tear film (this is an entirely painless process though). As the next step, the doctor will direct light onto your eye and determine the time your tears take to break up and evaporate.
What are the treatments?
One of the commonly used treatments for MGD during the past is massaging the eyelids according to a unique method. By doing this, doctors expected to clear the openings of meibomian glands through applying pressure. However, these compressions and massages on eyelids don’t necessarily address the symptoms; that was not an effective way to get the functionality of the meibomian glands back to normal.
However, the good news is that there are several new treatment methods were discovered thanks to the advancements of the technology.
Meibomian gland probing
The treatment will be carried out using a specially designed instrument that can dilate the openings of the problematic glands. Before the use of this instrument, the doctor will use anesthetic eye drops.
The results of this treatment are phenomenal. As a matter of fact, this treatment shows a success rate of 100%. To make the healing process faster and more effective a meibomian gland probing treatment should be combined with corticosteroid eye drops.
Antibacterial eye drops
Interestingly, antibacterial eye drops have shown substantial success when it comes to treating MGD. However, such treatment must be carried out only with the consent of a qualified eye doctor.
Cyclosporine eye drops
This is a specific agent that claims to have the ability to alter your immune system and thereby address the clogged glands.
Thermal pulsation (LipiFlow)
LipiFlow – a thermal pulsation system also can be used as a very effective treatment method to address MGD. Just like the name of this process suggests, it uses a gentle heat on the eyelids of the patient and melts the potential wax deposits. Apart from the heat, this treatment method combines a pulsed pressure to make the wax-removing process faster and efficient.
In general, each treatment session lasts 12 minutes. Although they utilize heat to melt wax, the temperature will not be transferred towards the eyelids, and therefore, it is an entirely safe treatment method. This treatment has worked flawlessly for a large number of individuals who suffered from MGD.
To keep the risks of MGD to a minimal level, you should consider consuming foods that are rich in Omega 3. These fatty acids can deliver various other benefits apart from reducing the risks of MGD.
Important: If you experience MGD or symptoms associated with it, be sure to meet your eye doctor without any delay. Don’t try DIY treatments or over-the-counter treatments – only a qualified eye doctor can tell you whether you have MGD or not.
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Your purchase is risk-free
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