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How Often Should You Express Your Meibomian Glands?

September 14, 2017 2 min read

Taking Proper Care of Your Meibomian Glands

How often should you manually express your Meibomian glands? Is warm compress and massage different from gland expression?

We'll quickly go over what we recommend. At night, use our Heyedrate Dry Eye Mask or another warm compress heated up in the microwave for a 15-20 seconds. Lie it over your closed eyelids for 10-15 minutes. What that really does is it loosens up those oils that are in the meibomian glands. Sometimes those oils can be impacted just because they’ve been in there for so long and they’re poor quality. We want to get those out, so by heating it up, that’s the first step.

Lid massage and meibomian gland expression are slightly different. After warm compresses, you can do a little lid massage by gently pushing on your eyelids a little bit to break up any of the impacted oils. Gland expression is similar to lid massage it’s just we tend to sandwich the eyelids. This is usually done in an eye doctor's office. We put something behind the eyelids and we put something in front of them and then we milk the glands. You can do this yourself with a q-tip if you want to... just take a q-tip over your closed eyelids and roll it down your Meibomian glands. Do this from the top to the bottom lids.

We tell patients it's hard to overdose on warm compresses and gland expression. You can do this a few times per week unless you have very severe MGD, then you may need to visit your eye doctor to have this done often. 

One Love,

Dr. Travis and Dr. Jenna

Drs. Jenna and Travis Zigler

Join Dr. Travis Zigler and Dr. Jenna Zigler LIVE on Facebook every Sunday at 5:00 pm EST in the Dry Eye Syndrome Support Community on Facebook

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3 Responses

Savannah
Savannah

October 01, 2019

Rebecca Russel I don’t know if your mother ever found relief vut I suffer from dry eye after lasiks my life feels bleak because of it. I have recently found that 100% organic cold pressed hexane free castor oil just a drop in each eye before bed and anytime beedes usually just before bed gets me throught the day. It is so hydrating and healing and has reduce eye swelling to. Make sure your hands are clean pull her lower lid and put a drop in each any more,and,it will get messy have her lay down,and rest her eyes after. Take a little,on your finger tip,and lightly rub some on her lower and up lid if it gets in the lashes no big deal but it will feel,smudgy /blurry if you do so try,not to. It will soak in the lid it helps so,much. In the morning if she doesnt need a drop then,just massage a little on the lid so,it an soak . its been a,couple days so far and this is the first thing that has broight ne relief . Dr doesn’t recommend I think because its not sterile but you might be able to,fine a sterile one . personally I bought a bottle and put,it,in a sterile store bought empty eye container at Wal-Mart or use a,glass dropper with a glass dropper. Change the bottle to the new one when you run out dont reuse . sorry about the commas and grammar its,my phone acting up but I really just want to help I know the pain. I pray to God he heals your,mom and anyone suffering of this.

Dr. Jenna Zigler
Dr. Jenna Zigler

November 26, 2018

Hey Rebecca – I would highly suggest she use the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser twice per day instead of the baby shampoo you bought. Sleep apnea, eye surgery…all of that can contribute to dry eyes, but the baby shampoo can actually make it worse as well. One Love, Dr. Jenna Zigler

Rebecca Russell
Rebecca Russell

November 26, 2018

My 87 year old mother is suffering from dry eyes. She also has sleep apnea. The problem with her eyes seemed to start after cataract surgery. Her eyes burn and just feel and look so tired all the time. She even had surgery to tighten her lower lids, but it didn’t help at all. She has tried all the eye drops, but nothing helps other than some relief from warm compresses. I have watched several of your videos and just bought baby shampoo and rose water. We are going to start doing the things you have mentioned in your videos, but do you think we should check into the lipid flow treatment. I wish you were in Texas, and we would come to you. I would appreciate your help. Mother still lives alone and loves life, but this dry eye problem is robbing her of her zest. I’m sure the sleep machine doesn’t help, but it is necessary. We are happy to purchase any of your products that you think would be best for her. Thank you!

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