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How Often Should You Express Your Meibomian Glands?

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,

Drs. Jenna and Travis Zigler

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