Most patients who suffer from dry eyes diseases have damaged or compromised meibomian glands. Our tear film is composed of multiple layers including a watery layer and an oily layer…
DRY EYES AND MEIBOMIAN GLAND DYSFUNCTION
The meibomian glands exist on the underside of our upper and lower eyelids. These glands secrete the oils so necessary for a healthy ocular surface. Most patients who suffer from dry eye disease have damaged or compromised meibomian glands. Our tear film is composed of multiple layers including a watery layer and an oily layer. The oily layer is the outermost layer of corneal tear film layer. If the oily layer is missing or compromised, the underlying watery layer will evaporate causing the cornea to dry out, causing when is commonly called a dry eye. Dry eyes can lead to a break down of the corneal epithelium (the outermost layer of the cornea) and result in blurred, unstable vision along with ocular discomfort and pain. The ripple effect of dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction cannot be overstated. Many of patients suffering from dry eyes compounded their ocular and vision issues by undergoing LASIK surgery. The most common complication of LASIK surgery is a dry eye.
Our office has the technology to diagnose and treat. We can image the meibomian glands with the keratograph, a unique instrument that also allows us to measure and image the quality of the tear film. There are many openings behind our eyelashes that allow the oils produced by the meibomian glands to flow onto our ocular surfaces. If these openings become blocked or capped these necessary oils will not mix with our tears and a dry eye will occur. We have recently introduced the ILux, a recently FDA approved technology designed to unblock the meibomian glands and to improve the quality of the tear film. We also have additional technologies to treat other eyelid inflammations (blepharitis) and disease including BlephEx, a unique medical device designed to keep the eyelids and eyelashes clean and pristine. The upper photo shows the inner lining of an eyelid with healthy meibomian glands. In the lower photo you can see a greatly reduced field of meibomian glands many of which are tortuous and blocked.