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Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

How To Treat Blepharitis

To start treatment for Blepharitis, you will first need to visit one of the eye doctors at Fusion Eye Care. They will be able to determine the cause of your eyelid inflammation. During an examination of the eye and eyelid, they will be able to determine if you have blepharitis and the type of blepharitis treatment that will be the most appropriate.

There are a number of different treatments available with the first being an eyelid scrub. This will involve gently scrubbing your eyelids to remove the biofilm and excess bacteria from the lid margins. Your doctor will generally recommend a daily regime consisting of warm compresses as well as lid scrubs which will reduce the bacteria and Demodex mites on the lids. The cleaning agents could include a prescribed eyelid cleaner or a non-prescription cleaning pad.

There are also in-office procedures which your doctor could complete. These in-office procedures are actually a more effective treatment than the at home eyelid scrubs. Some of the most common treatments will include:

  • Electromechanical lid margin debridement which effectively removes the biofilm, bacteria, and motes from the eyelids and opens your clogged glands.
  • Thermal pulsation treatment which melts and expresses the materials which have caused the obstruction of the meibomian glands.
  • Intense pulsed light therapy which will open the clogged glands and enable the normal flow of oils to the tear film.

Another treatment will be medicated eye drops and ointments. These will be prescribed by the doctor as a topical treatment to destroy the bacteria and other microbes on the eyelid. This is generally used when there is a risk of eye infection or it appears that pink eye or other infections have already been caused alongside the blepharitis.

Eyelid Hygiene Tips

When it comes to treating and controlling blepharitis, eyelid hygiene is very important. However, this will only be helpful when it is completed correctly. To start your eyelid hygiene routine you will need to use a warm and clean compress to melt any of the residue blocking the meibomian glands in the eyelid.

To do this, you will first need to wash your hands and then moisten a clean washcloth with some warm water. The water should be nearly hot when you apply it to the cloth. The cloth should then be placed over your closed eyes for several minutes. You will then have to gently rub your lid margin with the cloth before you open your eyes. It is very important that you not press hard on the eye at this point.

You should follow any recommendations provided by your doctor regarding how often you should be using a warm compress as well as how long it should be held in place. When you first start doing this, you will generally be told to do this a number of times per day for 5 minutes at a time. As the days progress, you will only need to apply the compress once per day.

Cleaning Your Eyelids

The next essential step that you have to take is to clean your eyelids. Your doctor will generally recommend a cleaning agent with the options including water, an over the counter cleanser or a prescription cleanser. Again, you will need to wash your hands before you start cleaning your eyelids.

You should then moisten a clean cloth, gauze pad or cotton swab with the cleanser. You can then gently wipe the eyelashes and the lid margin. After this, you will need to rinse with warm water and repeat the process with the other eye. When you move to the other eye, you need to use a different cloth, swab or gauze.

You will need to do this several times a day to start and move to once a day over time. It is also recommended that you minimize eye makeup because mascara will interfere with eyelid hygiene.

How To Stop Blepharitis From Coming Back

Blepharitis is actually a chronic condition which means that it is a recurring problem. The best way to stop it from coming back is to clean your eyelids every day. There are a number of non-prescription lid scrubs which can be used to maintain eyelid hygiene.

If You Wear Glasses Or Contacts

If you develop this ailment while wearing contact lenses, you need to stop wearing them until the condition has been treated. Wearing them while your eyelids are inflamed will result in bacteria sticking to the lens and entering the eye. This can cause pink eye and other serious eye diseases.

If you do not have a pair of backup glasses, you need to purchase them and get photochromic lenses. They will darken automatically in sunlight and become lighter when indoors.

Could MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction) Be The Cause Of Your Dry Eyes?

MGD, which stands for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, is classified as one of the more common eye conditions. You can get this condition when there is an issue with the tiny glands in the eyelids that assist with making tears.

How Does It Happen?

The Meibomian glands, which are named after a German doctor that studied these glands, makes the oil known as meibum. Mucus, water and meibum is what makes up the three-layers of what is known as tear film, which is the fluid that performs the function of making sure the eyes stay moist. It is the oil in this fluid which assists in preventing the layer of water over the surface of the eyes from drying up.

Changes to the quality or amount of this oil, or changes that occur in the glands can result in MGD. The more common type of this condition is known as obstructive MGD. This occurs when the openings to the glands become clogged. When the gland is clogged less of the oil is able to reach the surface of the eye.

Causes

Age is one of the contributing factors to this condition because the meibomian glands start to decrease as a person starts to age. Ethnicity also plays a role, and Asian people are around 3-times more prone to MGD in comparison to people from European ancestry. People who wear contact lenses are also more prone to developing MGD.

There are also medical issues that are linked with MGD. Some of these include:

  • Triglycerides and high cholesterol
  • Bacterial infections
  • Damaged or inflamed cornea or eyelid
  • Allergic conjunctivitis
  • Autoimmune diseases which include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and rosacea

There are also medications that can result in issues with the production of meibum, which include:

  • Retinoids in anti-aging creams or acne medication
  • Medication that lower androgen
  • Estrogen replacement therapy

Symptoms

In the earlier stages, most people usually don’t exhibit symptoms. But as the condition progresses, the quality of the oil becomes weaker or progressively less in the tear film, and the eyes might start to itch, burn, become dry or irritated. Some people experience a feeling like dust or grains of the sand in the eyes.

The inner rims of the eyelids that appear rough or uneven is another classic sign of this condition, yet not every person will have it. Some people even experience blurred vision from time to time. The symptoms will usually become worse if you use a computer for extended periods or the air in your office or home are dry, which is often caused by heating or air-conditioning.

Detection Methods For MGD

Individuals with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) are likely to experience symptoms that are virtually identical to those felt by individuals with dry eye syndrome, namely a gritty sensation, itchiness, redness and blurry vision. A conclusive diagnosis of MGD can only be made by your eye doctor at Fusion Eye Care.

A primary method of detecting MGD is for a doctor to apply a certain amount of pressure directly to your eyelid, thus causing the meibomian glands to release their contents. A skilled eye doctor can often assess whether meibomian gland dysfunction is present simply by taking note of the quality and characteristics of what is secreted.

A firm known as TearScience has created a diagnostic aid referred to as the Meibomian Gland Evaluator. This tool establishes a standard pressure level to be applied for the purpose of prompting secretions from the meibomian glands. A device of this type can make the process of ascertaining the existence of MGD much easier.

It should be noted that since tear film stability can also be impacted by meibomian gland dysfunction, your eye care professional may wish to test numerous characteristics of your tears as well.

The TBUT, or tear breakup time test is a commonly utilized procedure. The test itself is painless and straightforward, encompassing the placement of a tiny bit of dye onto the tear film at the front of one of your eyes. Your eye care professional will then use a cobalt blue source of light to examine the treated eye. The light prompts the tears to emit a glow which allows the doctor to determine how rapidly the tear film takes to break up or lose stability on the eye.

Keep in mind that meibomian gland dysfunction can only be formally diagnosed by a professional eye doctor who will formulate a customized treatment plan if it is found to be present. If dry or irritated eyes have been plaguing you of late, contact your eye doctor today for a thorough evaluation and exam.

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