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Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Few commonplace eye issues cause as much irritation as dry eye. What many people don't realize, however, is that their dry eyes may not due, not to a lack of tears, but to a lack of oil in the tear film. This oil is produced by specialized glands called the meibomian glands -- and when they fail to do their job, your tears fail to hydrate and protect your eyes. Fortunately, you can get relief from meibomian gland dysfunction here at Advanced Advanced Eyecare Center of Manhattan Beach and El Segundo.
Tear ducts aren't the only components involved in the eye's tear production system. The inner surfaces of your eyelids contain dozens of tiny glands called meibomian glands (named for their discoverer, Heinrich Meibom). These glands regularly contribute oil to the tear film, which also contains water and mucous. It's an important contribution because the oil sits in a layer on top of the water layer, keeping the water from evaporating right away. Without this oil layer, tears lose water content and eyes dry out.
Dry eye caused by meibomian gland dysfunction is characterized by eye irritation, a feeling that you have grit in your eye, blurred vision, redness of the eye or eyelid and an uneven or irritated eyelid rim. While many of these are classic dry eyes symptoms, you may suspect meibomian gland dysfunction if you seem to be producing plenty of tears despite your discomfort. Meibomian gland dysfunction tends to occur after the age of 40, with people of Asian ancestry being especially prone to it. But anyone can develop blockages that prevent the glands from secreting oil normally.
It's important that you get meibomian gland dysfunction under control since prolonged dry eye can expose the corneas to infection or injury. Here at Advanced Eyecare Center, our eye doctors can check the oil content of your tear film to see whether you have this condition or some other form of dry eye. We may also apply pressure to the eyelid to see if we can express a certain amount of oil from the glands. If it's clear that meibomian gland dysfunction is the problem, rely on our team to provide the solution. In addition to home care strategies such as nutritional supplements, warm compresses, and lubricating eye drops, we can administer a treatment technique called Lipiflow. The Lipiflow system uses special eyepieces that apply a combination of warmth and a gentle pressure called Vectored Thermal Pulse. the treatment loosens up any clogs in the glands so they can produce and secrete oil properly.
If your eyes need a little help creating a balanced tear film, Advanced Eyecare Center is the place to be. Call 310-321-6990 to set up an evaluation and obtain treatment from our optometrists in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach!