Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Cause of Dry Eyes – Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Want relief from those painful, dry, itchy eyes? By now you know that it’s not a condition that will go away with standard eye drops. Dry eye treatment can only be effective when you’ve identified what causes dry eyes.

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is believed to be one of the leading conditions that causes dry eye. Even though it is a quite common dry eye disease, very often it can go undiagnosed.

What is MGD dry eye disease?

Simply put, Meibomian glands are responsible for keeping your eyes moist. Located in the eyelids, they secrete a lipid (oily) layer of the tear film which is crucial in preventing the rapid evaporation of tears. Chronic blockage, thickening of the meibum, etc. impede the ability of these glands to produce or secrete oil. This affects the quality and stability of the tear film, which consequently produces classic dry eye symptoms.

Blocked Meibomian Glands

Sometimes MGD is accompanied by eyelid inflammation, such as swelling or redness.  But even without external cues, you could still have blocked glands and not realize it. Without timely treatment, this chronic or severe dry eyes disease can disrupt your life.

In a clinical study, 79% of patients reported improved overall dry eye symptoms (ranging from 10% to 100% improvement) within four weeks of a single LipiFlow treatment. The new LipiFlow technology from dry eyes experts, TearScience®, is now available to you at Dr. Adrian Long’s Ophthalmology Clinic in Winnipeg. We will evaluate your symptoms, tear film and gland function to determine the underlying cause of your dry eye condition.

LipiFlow® is designed to provide relief so you can get on with your life.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) occurs when glands become blocked over time. Underlying the considerable discomfort is a real physical condition that needs appropriate treatment to stop the cycle of dry eye deterioration and worsening symptoms.  There are many reasons that you may be suffering from this dry eye disease.

What are some of the typical causes of dry eyes?

  • Hormonal changes in women during menopause – particularly, decreasing levels of estrogen – can cause thickening of the oils secreted by the meibomian glands, which results in blockages.
  • Decreased estrogen levels may enhance conditions under which staphylococcal bacteria can proliferate in the meibomian glands. This results in a decreased oil secretion rate.
  • Additional factors that may cause or exacerbate meibomian gland dysfunction include age, contact lens use and hygiene, cosmetic use, and illnesses, particularly diabetes.

Proven LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation technology applies heat to the inner eyelids and gentle pressure, releasing lipids from the Meibomian glands. The procedure is fast, virtually painless, and can be done right here in Dr. Long’s Winnipeg office.