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A study published in the journal Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics in February, 2016 set out to investigate the effects of contat lens wear on the structure and function of the meibomian glands.
The meibomian glands are special glands at the rim of the eyelids that secrete meibum, an oily substance that prevents the evaporation of the eye's tear film. Improperly functioning meibomian glands is one of the causes of dry eye disease. When the oil secreted by the glands in absent or insufficient, the eye;s tear film evaporates, making the eyes dry.
The study authors found that contact lens wear for two years changed the structure of the meibomian glands of the study participants. Also, not surprisingly, various measures of tear film health indicated that the meibomian glands did not function as well after two years of contact lens wear. However, after two years of wear, the condition of the meibomian glands appears to stabilize, as the researchers found no further modification in the glands after the two-year mark.
The study did not account for different types of contact lenses. Your eye doctor should be able to recommend the lens that is best for your eyes and likely to cause the least amount of damage to your meibomian glands so that you can keep your tear film as healthy as possible.