Meibomian gland dysfunction is a common eye condition that's often associated with dry eyes. The meibomian glands work to secrete meibum, the lipid-rich oil that keeps the eyes moisturized. Meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when the glands aren't producing enough of this oil, resulting in dryness and irritation. At the Des Plaines Eye Care Center, we offer eye care for meibomian gland dysfunction, also known as MGD.
Causes of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
This condition is often the result of age-related deterioration, but it can also be due to bacterial infections in the eye. Environmental risks and hormonal changes will also factor into eye gland dysfunction, with an increase of estrogen often causing inflammation. Wearing contact lenses and taking certain medications can make you more susceptible to MGD. It's also strongly associated with allergic conjunctivitis and autoimmune disease.
Symptoms of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
The common symptoms of MGD include dry eyes, pain, redness, swelling, itchiness, or a gritty sensation in the eyes. Your eyes might also become more sensitive to light and tender to touch. If you are experiencing these symptoms for longer than a few weeks, it's time to visit our eye doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment Options for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Treatment options for meibomian gland dysfunction often revolve around creating more tear production or repairing the glands for healthy oil secretion. Our eye doctor may apply intense pulsed light (IPL) to target certain blood vessels around the eyes, reducing eyelid inflammation and bacterial growth. Lid debridement is another treatment option, applying a hand-held device to clean out the debris. In blephasteam, the glands are unblocked with an eye-warming device.
Our eye care specialist can recommend lifestyle advice to help better manage your condition. We also offer steroid eye drops for dry eyes. If your contact lenses are causing the blockage, then treatment will be about creating better hygiene for the contact lens wearer. Special lubricants, cleansers, and compressions may be used to encourage gland health. Our eye doctor may recommend vitamin supplements such as Omega-3 essential fatty acids to improve your health. Relief management can be enhanced by creating a humidified environment, avoiding cigarette smoke, and staying hydrated throughout your day.
Get the Care You Need in Des Plaines, IL
The Des Plaines Eye Care Center provides optometry services to treat a wide range of vision and eye-related issues. If you are interested in hearing about our care options for meibomian gland dysfunction, contact us at (224) 236-2020 for more information.