Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Hey everyone! I wanted to go over treating meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Let’s first discuss what meibomian glands are. You have about 31 meibomian glands in the top eyelid, and 31 in the lower lid. What these are responsible for is releasing oil, or meibum, onto your eye. You have little oil factories in your eyelids, and those oil factories produce meibum, or oil. This oil then releases into the meibomian glands and then goes down to the terminal duct where it exits onto the eye. This is assisted by a muscle in your eyelid, so every time you blink it milks that gland and releases that oil on to your eye.
When we have a dysfunction in this system, it’s called meibomian gland dysfunction. You’re going to notice MGD because you will have red, inflamed eyes, itchy eyes, gritty, and irritated eyes. You are just going to feel a general dryness and discomfort of the eyes. You might also have recurrent styes with meibomian gland dysfunction because the oils are getting compacted inside the glands, unable to release. When a stye occurs, it looks similar to a zit on the eyelid margin.
When any of the system gets disrupted, this is what we know as MGD. You can have a disruption by the terminal duct or the exit being blocked by oil hardening. You can address that with warm compresses, which we will talk about in just a little bit. Also, the muscle around your eyelids may not be as tight as it used to be, making it more difficult to squeeze the oil out of the glands and onto your eye. That could happen with age. Then, if you are not eating healthy oils, such as omega 3s or coconut oil, your body is not going to create a good oil or meibum. Your meibomian glands are going to create a poor oil.
There are a lot of things that go into treating meibomian gland dysfunction. There are four main types of treatment. Warm compresses can be done at home as a Home Spa Therapy. There’s also Lipiflow, MiBo Thermoflo, and then there’s IPL Therapy that all provide similar treatments.
Let’s go into Lipiflow first. Lipiflow is when they apply heat to the inside eyelid and then they pulsate the outside eyelid. So, essentially what you are doing there is heating up the oil glands. Just like any oil, when you heat it up, it is going to liquify. They are heating up the oil glands and then the pulsation presses the previously hardened oils out of the glands. MiBo Thermoflo works very similarly, but it applies the heat on the outside of the gland and just expresses through the outside of the eyelid. Intense Pulsed Light therapy, uses certain wavelengths of light to change the blood vessels and change the skin around your meibomian glands. The heat that it causes can liquify the oil. IPL can also decrease inflammation because it shrinks the blood vessels around your eyelids.
So, let’s jump into warm compresses, or what we like to call our home spa therapy. So our home spa therapy is very simple. All you do is take a commercially available mask, like the Heyedrate Dry Eye Warm Compress, microwave it for 20 seconds, shake the mask after removing from the microwave to ensure even heating, test it on the inside of your wrist for temperature and then just place over your closed eyelids. After that you just want to relax for about 20 minutes and just focus on your breathing. It’s going to be a nice relaxing session. Then after 20 minutes you’re going to want to do some meibomian gland expression just by lightly massaging your eyelids. What this is going to do is help express those oils. You want to do upper and lower and get those oils expressed out onto your eyes. You might be a little blurry at first because those oils are going to be expressed onto your eyes but that blurriness should subside and you should start to feel better.
Again, I want to thank you for watching our video on meibomian gland treatment and meibomian glands. Subscribe to our Eye Love YouTube Channel and we will keep you up to date on all the latest technology in eyes to keep your eyes healthy and prevent dryness.
Dr. Travis Zigler
by Dr. Travis Zigler | Posted in blocked oil gland, clogged eye duct, clogged sebaceous gland, Dr. Travis Zigler, dry eye, eye love, Heyedrate, how to unclog eyelid glands, inflammation of a gland, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, meibomian gland dysfunction causes, meibomian gland dysfunction symptoms and MGD | |
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