Dry Eye Doctor
Dr. M.K. Randhawa

Vision Source

2625 East5 49th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
(604) 435-3931

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Dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

The meibomian glands are spcial glands at the rim of the eyelids. They supply the eye with meibum, an oily substance that forms a critical part of a healthy tear film and ocular surface. The oily meibum prevents the evaporation of the eye's tear film. If the meiboman gands are not working properly, there will not be enough meibum produced and the eye's tear film will evaporate too fast, causing dry eye disease (DED).

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the most frequent cause of DED. Generally, MDG is higher in Asian populations, ranging from 46% to 70%. It is less frequent in Caucasian populations where the prevalence of MGD ranges from 3.5% to 20%

It is thought that MGD can arise from any one or a combination of factors including:

  • eyelid inflammation;
  • conjunctival inflammation;
  • corneal damage;
  • microbiological changes; and
  • DED resulting from tear film instability.

The relationship between MDG and DED is that they feed on eachother and are part of a vicious circle.

At our clinic, we provide various treatments for MGD that target various parts of the disease process and often target a combination. For example, Blephex can target eyelid inflamation, which can be combined with other procedures that stimulate meibum secretion and medications that promote tear film stability.

Meibomian gland dysfunction

Image Source: Baudouin CMessmer EMAragona P, et al
Revisiting the vicious circle of dry eye disease: a focus on the pathophysiology of meibomian gland dysfunction
British Journal of Ophthalmology Published Online First: 18 January 2016. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2015-307415