Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, also known as MGD or Posterior Blepharitis, is where the meibomian glands in your eyelids are not working like they should. The meibum (oil) that these glands produce is used to moisturize and lubricate the eye. So without meibum your eyes will feel dry, irritated, gritty, and dry eye syndrome will develop. Dry eye is just a manifestation in a continuum of diseases starting with inflammation in the body, and with the eyelids, blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.
There are many ways to treat meibomian gland dysfunction naturally and at home, which I discuss in great detail in another article [Click Here to Read].
In today's article I will be discussing an in-office procedure called BlephEx, which is used to clean the eyelids.
In a recent study, James Rynerson, MD, and Henry Perry, MD proposed that dry eye and blepharitis are the same disease process. Dr. Rynerson states "We get biofilms, they lead to inflammation, and then the inflammation affects the different structures in the lid." This, they proposed, is what leads to dry eye, decreased contact lens wear time, and decrease tear breakup time (TBUT).
Increasing Contact Lens Wear Time
Patients believe that as they age, they have to discontinue contact lenses due to irritation and dryness that occurs. Practitioners over and over again will switch solutions and switch contact lens brands to try and keep these patients in contact lenses.
Dr. Rynerson reveals that these practitioners should be focusing on cleansing the eyelid margins and getting rid of the biofilm formation. Once biofilm is removed, the source of inflammation goes away, and an immediate relief can be felt from the patients.
In their practice they use BlephEx, which is a hand--held instrument with a spinning sponge soaked in cleaning solution that removes biofilm from the patient's lid margins and reduces inflammation.
"Once you remove the biofilm, the source of inflammation goes away, and patients begin to feel so much better immediately," Rynerson said.
TBUT (Tear Breakup Time)
Tear breakup time is when a practitioner looks at the tears to assess the quality. When a patient blinks, the tears should hold steady for at least ten seconds. With a less than ten second TBUT, treatment with eyelid cleansing should be initiated.
Studies with BlephEx showed a 60% increase in TBUT. An increase in TBUT reveals an increase in meibomian gland function. This study evaluated 20 patients at initial examination and at four weeks post BlephEx treatment. Another study showed a 66% increase in TBUT and evaluated 90 patients.
My opinion on this study and the data
These results are great, and I have used BlephEx first hand in my practice with the success stated in the articles.
My recommendation for treatment and the use of BlephEx is to find a doctor in your area and have BlephEx done every four-to-six months depending on your severity of dry eyes, blepharitis, and/or meibomian gland dysfunction.
In between visits, using other natural therapies as a compliment to BlephEx will promote even better results. I recommend the following:
1. Begin with a warm compress
2. Safely express the meibomian glands
3. Clean your eyelids twice per day with a hypochlorous acid based solution
4. Eat healthy omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
Have you had BlephEx for your MGD or dry eyes?
Let me know your successes or failures in the comments below.
Dr. Travis Zigler
SeeEO of Eye Love
Do you have dry eyes or meibomian gland dysfunction?
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