Can Ocular Ointment at Night Cause Your Glands to Clog More?

Can Ocular Ointment at Night Cause Your Glands to Clog More?

Jun 22, 2018Dr. Travis Zigler

For all of us using ointment at night, will this clog the glands even more than they already are? 

No, I don’t see any issues with using an ointment at night. The ointment is not going to stay there forever, it’s not going to clog up your glands even more. That all has to do with the type of oil that the glands in your eyelids are producing. It’s good to keep your eyelids clean, but you should be cleaning your eyelids morning and evening anyway, so you’re going to clean it off in the morning if there is any ointment left. It mostly has to come down to what oil your body is producing more than anything.

Then, this goes back to the artificial tears discussion where we say that’s just covering up a problem and not fixing it. I only prescribe ointments for my patients that don’t close their eyes completely when they’re sleeping at night. Just having that lack of closure is a little tougher to solve because that’s usually caused by thyroid disease or just a lack of muscle tone. So when they have that gap between their lids, wind is going by their eye all night long and that’s when I put an ointment on there. I very rarely put an ointment on and then a recurrent corneal erosion as well. That’s about it.


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