Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is thought to be the leading cause of Dry Eye, affects up to 50% of Americans. MGD is blockage of the meibomian glands, so they do not secrete enough oil into the tears. Because the tear film on the surface of the eye then evaporates too quickly, MGD is associated with Dry Eye Syndrome and Blepharitis, which can make eyelids feel itchy and watery.
MGD Risk Factors
There are several factors that can increase your risk of having meibomian gland dysfunction. Much like dry eyes, the risk of MGD increases with age. People over the age of 40 have a significantly greater risk of developing it than children or young adults.
Wearing eye makeup is another contributing cause of MGD. Eyeliner and other makeup can clog the openings of meibomian glands. This is especially true if you do not thoroughly clean your eyelids and remove all traces of eye makeup before sleep.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) often is the underlying cause of dry eyes.
How is MGD is detected?
The symptoms of meibomian gland dysfunction:
- red eyes
- sandy & gritty feeling
- itchy eyes
- tired eyes
- tender, swollen or red eyelids
- fluctuating & blurred vision
A simple technique your doctor might use to detect MGD is to apply pressure to your eyelid thereby expressing the contents of the meibomian gland. Observing these secretions can help your doctor determine if you have meibomian gland dysfunction and discuss how to best treat it.