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Home » Meibography: Diagnosing Meibomian Glands For Dry Eye Treatment

Corneal Dystrophy

Meibography Can Ensure Better Diagnosis for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

Dry eye is a common ocular condition that can occur for a variety of reasons. A leading cause of dry eye, however, is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD); it affects the essential oil layer of the eye’s tear film, causing tears to evaporate too quickly.

In fact, more than 85% of patients who visit their eye doctor due to dry eye symptoms are diagnosed with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. MGD is chronic condition which, when left untreated, can worsen overtime.

For optimal treatment you first need to be properly diagnosed. Meibography is a non-invasive screening tool that accurately diagnoses MGD and enables your eye doctor to provide effective treatment to relieve dry eye symptoms.

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?

Meibomian glands are located in both your upper and lower eyelids, where they produce complex oily fluid that stabilizes the tear film and slows the evaporation of your tears. This allows the tears to keep your cornea well lubricated for comfortable and clear vision.

When the meibomian glands are either blocked or don’t function optimally, the lipid (fatty) layer of your tear film isn’t rich enough to keep your eyes moist. This causes a rapid evaporation of tears and results in friction between the cornea and eyelids.

Diagnosing Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

If your eyes feel itchy and scratchy, you may have dry eye disease. Visit Blacksburg Eye Associates, who will perform a thorough clinical exam using a meibography device that utilizes high definition imaging technology. This allows your eye doctor to view the health of your meibomian glands with optimum accuracy. The screening process is quick, efficient, non-invasive and absolutely painless.

How Does Meibography Work?

A meibography visualizes the morphology of the meibomian glands through a series of high-definition digital images. The images allow the eye doctor to observe the architecture of the glands by revealing the gland size, structure, and any structural abnormalities.

Diagnosing MGD with certainty and clarity allows the eye doctor to prescribe the most appropriate treatment to alleviate your painful symptoms.

Can to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Be Treated?

Yes. After diagnosis, your eye doctor will choose from variety of treatments available.

One option is meibomian gland probing, also referred to as ‘expression of the meibomian gland.’ Numbing eye drops are applied to your eye and your eye doctor uses the end of a hand-held instrument to probe and dilate the openings of your meibomian glands.

Other treatments include heating and massaging the glands, oral medication, prescription eye drops, and intense pulsed light (IPL). Your eye doctor may recommend a combination of these treatments for optimum treatment of MGD and dry eye.

The earlier MGD is detected, the better. If not treated early on, it can cause corneal damage and even vision loss. If you feel eye irritation and suspect you have MGD, contact Blacksburg Eye Associates today to schedule your appointment.

Blacksburg Eye Associates serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, throughout Virginia.