What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?
Meibomian glands take the name of the German doctor who studied them. These glands produce a type of oil known as meibum and are also responsible for secreting just the right amount of oil into our tears. The mixture of meibum, water, and mucus combined give us the three layers of tear film present on the ocular surface, the very liquid that keeps our eyes comfortably moist. Meibum (the oil) helps prevent the water content on the eye from evaporating, and thus drying out more quickly than tears can be produced.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is often the result of a combination of factors gone wrong in the oil or glands involved. Changes in the quantity or quality of oil produced, or perhaps even changes or abnormalities affecting the meibomian glands themselves, may result in a case of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. The most common observed, obstructive MGD, takes place when the openings of the meibomian glands get are blocked, resulting in reduced amounts of oil that reach the surface of the eye.
Hyperactive Meibomian glands can lead to lid infections, or recurrent chalazion and marginal keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) or a combination of the aforementioned conditions.
Treatment of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is often decided only after a close examination from your eye specialist, while taking into account underlying physical conditions and the severity of the symptoms displayed by the dysfunction.