What is a Meibomian Gland, and Why is it Important in Dry Eyes?

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What is a Meibomian Gland, and Why is it Important in Dry Eyes?

By aitkineyeca32139567, Mar 2 2020 04:00PM

What is a Meibomian Gland, and Why is it Important in Dry Eyes?

Meibomian glands are found in the upper and lower eyelids. These glands produce an oily substance that is part of our natural tears. This oil component of the tears provides lubrication when we blink and prevents evaporation of the water component of the tears. Each time we blink a small amount of oil is released from the meibomian glands. When the glands are not functioning properly you may experience dry eye symptoms, particularly your eyes may burn and feel scratchy, and your vision may fluctuate.

Meibomian glands may become plugged and a biofilm can form over the pores that release the oil. If a meibomian gland becomes infected it becomes red, swollen, and tender and is called a hordeolum (commonly called a stye).

There are many ways to keep your Meibomian glands healthy and producing the correct amount and consistency of oil. Hot compresses, lid scrubs, taking omega 3 supplements, eye drops, lid debridement, and gland evacuation are some of the ways to improve meibomian gland function. See your optometrist to find out if your meibomian glands are healthy.

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