MGD is short for meibomian glands dysfunction, which is often associated with dry eye syndrome. Your meibomian glands are located within your eyelids, where their primary function is to secrete an oily substance that coats the tear film covering your eye and prevents the evaporation of your tears. Producing tears is crucial for eye health because they keep the cornea of your eye moist, clear, and smooth. MGD is actually a very common eye condition, yet many people have never heard of it. It is estimated that 70% of Americans over the age of 60 have MGD. Continue reading to find out the various causes, symptoms, and treatment for meibomian glands dysfunction.
Essentially everyone is a candidate for meibomian glands dysfunction. The number one cause of MGD is the patient’s age. As we get older, our meibomian glands decrease overtime. Other causes that could generate MGD include individuals who wear contact lenses, have high cholesterol, allergic conjunctivitis, inflamed eyelids or cornea, have autoimmune diseases, plus more. Also, a surprising connection between patients’ nationality can be a contributing factor that causes MGD. According to extensive research, up to 69% of the Asian populations have MGD, while only 20% of non-Hispanic Caucasians in the U.S., as well as, in Australia have MGD. Another correlation with MGD is individuals who wear eye makeup – especially those who wear eyeliner. Eye makeup can clog the openings of your meibomian glands. This is why it is so vital for patients to wash off their makeup before going to sleep!
You might not experience any symptoms in the early stages of MGD. Over time, the symptoms become more evident and are similar to dry eye disease. You might experience burning, itching, irritated, and red dry eyes. Some patients have described experiencing MGD being as uncomfortable as having a speck of sand or dust particles in your eye. A rare sign that the patient has MGD is if the interior rim of their eyelid is appearing to be uneven or rough. The majority of the time patients will experience blurred vision, which could worsen with a dry environment or even by staring at a computer screen for too long.
LipiFlow is an advanced device that has been created to treat MGD. The LipiFlow was built to successfully remove blockages from the meibomian glands, as well as, promoting the proper function – including the production of oils that generates the protective lipid layer of the tear film. The world-changing invention of the LipiFlow is now used across the globe by prominent eye care physicians. The LipiFlow device is currently becoming the common care for patients with MGD. LipiFlow is extremely safe to use and has impactful results. During the LipiFlow procedure, activators will be applied to your eyes. Then the LipiFlow activator produces a mix of warmth and light pressure to the inner lids, which is known as Vectored Thermal Pulse (VTP), while at the same time a therapeutic massage on the outer lid is happening. The heat plus the gentle pressure remarkably and safely extracts gland blockages. The LipiFlow procedure takes up to 12 minutes to be completed. As your natural gland function is restored, end results usually take 6-8 weeks after the LipiFlow treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is a possibility you have MGD. Do not hesitate to consult an eye doctor right away. Take care of your eyes with Marano Eye Care. At Marano Eye Care, our primary focus is our patients and to promote exceptional eye healthcare. Our professional team of doctors is experts in treating a wide array of eye conditions and will work with you to enhance your eye comfort and to better your vision. To learn more about the LipiFlow and the other services we provide, contact us today to make an appointment at one of our three New Jersey locations.