Meibomian Gland


In the past, it was largely believed that Dry Eye was caused by a lack of tear production, or Tear Film Insufficiency. Over the past 20 years, we have discovered that most people who present with Dry Eye symptoms are actually suffering from Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD. The Meibomian glands are the vessels that supply lipids to the tear film, allowing your tears to function properly. Untreated MGD can lead to the glands beginning to atrophy, like what happens to muscles if they are not used. Gland loss can present a serious long-term problem, as there is no way to restore gland function once they are no longer functioning.

Normal Eyelid (meibomian) Glands

Normal Eyelid (meibomian) Glands:

Meibomian glands produce the oils needed for a healthy tear film

Gland (oil) Dropout

Gland (oil) Dropout:

MGD occurs when the meibomian glands become blocked. If this blockage is left untreated the glands will drop out entirely.

A series of evaluations will be performed to determine if you have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD. This will include gland imaging and a meibomian gland evaluation. Knowing what is causing your Dry Eye will help Dr. Day determine the best treatment option.

Your First Visit

Like the risk of dry eyes, the risk of MGD increases with age. People over age 40 have a significantly greater risk of developing it than children or young adults, and a study of 233 older adults (91 percent male; average age 63) found that 59 percent had at least one sign of meibomian gland dysfunction.