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Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Could be the Cause of Your Irritated, Dry Eyes

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Could be the Cause of Your Irritated, Dry Eyes

If you experience dry, uncomfortable eyes, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) may be the cause. MGD describes a group of eye disorders associated with abnormalities in the meibomian glands that lead to reduced tear production, poor tear quality, and other ocular issues. Below, our team expands on the proper function of the meibomian glands, the consequences of their dysfunction, and why it is so important to schedule regular eye exams with Dr. Lazcano and Dr. Awad of Laser Eye Center of Miami.

Understanding the Meibomian Glands

Meibomian glands are located at the edge of the eyelids near the lash line. They secrete oil that lubricates the eyes, as well as the tear film, which, in addition to the oil layer, is composed of a water layer and a mucus layer. The tears moisturize the eyes and keep them healthy, and the meibomian glands prevent the tears from evaporating too quickly.

What Happens When the Meibomian Glands Do Not Function Properly?

MGD is a common cause of dry eye syndrome. These glands can become obstructed, meaning the natural flow of oil is disturbed. The oil that the glands secrete can be crusty and can lead to eye irritation. MGD can be chronic if the glands are consistently clogged. In these cases, permanent damage to the tear film and dry eye syndrome can follow.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

Individuals 40 and older are at an elevated risk of developing MGD. Additionally, those who regularly wear eye makeup may also be at risk for the condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms of MGD, it is time to make an appointment with a qualified eye care specialist:

  • Eye dryness
  • Irritation and redness
  • Crusty or gummy eye discharge
  • Blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Styes
  • Gritty sensation in the eyes

Other Causes of Dry Eye Symptoms

In addition to MGD, irritated dry eyes can have several causes, including:

Illness: Certain medical conditions, such as lupus, Graves’ disease, and diabetes can contribute to dry eye symptoms.

Fluctuations in hormones: Changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy and menopause, can result in several changes, including dry eyes.

Extended screen time: Staring at television, computer, tablet, or other digital screens can lead to a low blink rate, in turn leading to dry, uncomfortable eyes.

Dry environment: Exposure to dry air, either indoors or outdoors, can make dry eye symptoms worse.

Book Your Eye Appointment in Miami

Do not allow your dry eyes to affect your quality of life. Our highly skilled doctors can diagnose MGD and provide you with effective treatment. To get started, contact our office, where our friendly staff will help you book your appointment.

Posted in MGD