If you are suffering from MGD, your symptoms will appear almost identical to those of dry eye syndrome. In fact, MGD is a prime cause of dry eye. Because these two conditions are so closely allied, only a trained professional like the experienced doctors of Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons can accurately diagnose and treat the root cause of your eye pain or blurred vision.
Oil and Water
The fine layer of moisture on the surface of your eye protects sensitive tissues, lubricates eye movement and promotes clarity in your vision. This layer is actually comprised of water, oil and mucus, and a deficiency in any of these three can lead to irritation and dryness.
When the cause of your discomfort is dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca), the problem is a decrease in the amount of tears protecting the eye’s surface. When the condition is MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction), the 20 to 30 glands in the lower eyelid that secrete oils or lipids are not working properly. The purpose of these oils is to keep tears from evaporating quickly. When gland function is interrupted, the watery surface of the eye is constantly dissipating, resulting in evaporative dry eye.
Symptoms for both dry eye and MGD may include pain or a burning sensation in the eyes, itchiness, redness, light sensitivity and blurred vision. Patients may have a feeling that there is a small particle in the eye.
MGD is common in the general population. Risk increases with age, with those over 40 having the highest likelihood of developing MGD. There also seems to be a correlation of MGD with heavy use of eye makeup. Over time, cosmetics can clog the meibomian glands and suppress oil production.
In recent years many exciting new treatment therapies have been developed. The LipiFlow thermal pulsation system uses targeted heat to melt away waxy gland obstructions in as few as eight minutes.
If you would like to learn more about MGD, we invite you to schedule a personal consultation in our Reading office with Dr. Domenic C. Izzo, Jr. at Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons today.