What are Meibomian Glands?
The meibomian glands are situated in the eyelid and their function is to release oils into the eye as part of the tear film. Every time we blink, small amounts of oil are released from the meibomian glands that spread over the surface of the eye.
The tear film is made from three separate elements, mucus, water and oil. All three elements help protect the eye. Oil acts as a protective layer across both the mucus and water layers to prevent them from evaporating too quickly.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked so the oils are not released properly. This causes the tear film to evaporate too quickly which causes irritation and discomfort in the eyes.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a primary underlying cause of dry eye syndrome.
There are several reasons meibomian glands may become blocked, these include:
Meibomian gland dysfunction is a chronic eye condition, meaning it can never fully be cured, but it can be managed with regular treatments as below:
Flare ups can be prevented by controlling the environment around you, increasing omega 3 in your diet and taking care when using eye products like contact lenses and make up.
Don’t Ignore MGD
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction does not go away on its own; it requires treatment and should not be ignored. If MGD does go untreated, patients are at risk of developing chalazia or infections in the eyelid margin.