Your eyelids are lined with meibomian glands that secrete oils onto your eyes’ surface, preventing your tears from drying up quickly. Any obstructions or problems with these glands may result in meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Dr. Joel H. McGahen, OD, your local optometrist, explains this condition in detail.
What Causes MGD?
Any changes to the oil levels or consistency in your eye may clog your meibomian glands. Irregularities with the glands themselves may also lead to MGD. Increasing age plays a major role in this condition’s development since meibomian glands may decrease in number over time. People of Asian descent and those who frequently use contact lenses are also at a higher risk of having this problem.
How Does MGD Affect Your Eye Health?
Your trusted eye doctor explains that MGD is often asymptomatic in its early stage. As it advances, however, the reduced oil content in your tear film may lead to dry eyes. Your eyelids may turn red, itchy and crusty. A feeling that something’s stuck in your eyes is also common. You may have moments of blurry eyesight as well.
What Are the Treatment Options for MGD?
Although common, MGD may severely compromise your visual health and comfort if left unmanaged. One thing you can do is to apply warm compresses to your eyes regularly. The heat helps melt the dried oil blocking your meibomian glands. We also suggest gently scrubbing and massaging your eyelids. Doing so helps remove accumulated oil, bacteria and debris, opening up your glands.
It may be a good idea to wear eyeglasses in the meantime. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna, salmon, and trout, can also help maintain your tears’ oil consistency. We may prescribe antibacterial and anti-inflammatory eye drops as well for your improved eye health.
For more information about MGD, call us at (717) 609-4443 or complete our form to schedule an appointment and learn more about symptom management. We serve Chambersburg and nearby PA communities.