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Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye Versus Meibomian Gland Dysfuction

January 16, 2018 1 min read

Dr. Matthew Ward, Valley Eye Clinic, Dr. Travis Zigler

Proper evaluation by a dry eye specialist in necessary to determine if your dry eye is aqueous deficient dry eye, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (lack of the lipid layer on the eye, which prevents evaporation of the tears), or a combination of the two.

Historically, all dry eye was treated as if it were Aqueous Deficient. Artificial tears may have been prescribed, and if the patient was still having symptoms, then they were told to simply increase the use of tears.  If you are using the drops four times a day and still feeling dry, then increase to eight times daily.  If that isn’t enough, increase to every 30 min.  

Research suggests that up to 85% of people have a Meibomain Gland component to their dry eye.  That means that roughly only 15% of people with dry eye will find relief simply using artificial tears.

Meibomian Gland Dystunction, if found by your dry eye specialist, needs to be addressed.  Blocked meibomain glands results in decreased lipid (oil) expressed by the lids.  This lack of oil results in a tear film that quickly evaporates, leaving the eye feeling dry, or a contact lens drying out quickly.  

Multiple treatment options exist for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Working with a dry eye specialist ensures that the best treatment plan can be made for your own dry eye symptoms.  

One Love,

Dr. Matthew Ward, Valley Eye Clinic

Dr. Matthew Ward, OD
Valley Eye Clinic
West Des Moines, IA


2 Responses

Jeanne Johnson
Jeanne Johnson

December 11, 2018

My eyes are so dry that I feel like I am losing my vision because of it. Artificial tears has done nothing to help me I have had many new drops that are out on the market and they do not help. I’ve had the plugs in my eyes they fell out they did not help. There is no relief for me and I do see an ophthalmologist


December 11, 2018

I have been using Restasis for years. Have had eye plugs. Any other possibilities?

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