What is MGD?

The underlying cause of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is complex. MGD can occur as a result of acne rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis and as a result of demodex - a common dust mite recently implicated in MGD. MGD becomes more common as we age.

Inflammation of the eyelid and the meibomian glands leads to obstruction of the meibomian glands which in turn prevents the oil leaving the glands and results in evaporative dry eye due to increased evaporation of the tear film. MGD is a progressive disease with slow and continual damage leading to atrophy of the glands. Once the glands are atrophied we cannot get them back. Early intervention and careful monitoring are crucial to avoid more severe dry eye problems in future, which are much more difficult to successfully treat.

What are the symptoms of MGD?

In early MGD there are often no symptoms. However, detailed examination of your eyelids using a powerful microscope, expression of your meibomian glands and imaging of the meibomian glands using our meibographer will often show the earliest signs of the disease.

When symptoms do commence they may include:

  • Red and inflamed eye lids
  • Burning and/or itching
  • Irritated or dry sensation
  • Uneven lid margin
  • Intermittent blurred vision

The above symptoms may be aggravated by tasks such as working on a PC, prolonged driving or working in air conditioned environments.

How do you treat MGD?

After careful assessment of the underlying cause of your MGD and its severity our optometrists will make a recommendation on which treatment will work best in your personalised treatment plan.

If you’re fed-up with warm compresses, IPL treatment is an effective way to treat MGD.

Treatment options may include:

In-practice treatments: IPL and BlephEx
At-Home treatments: Heat (e.g. MGDRx Eye Bag)
Lid hygiene (e.g. Blephaclean Eyelid wipes)

Medical Treatments: Topical antibiotics (Azyter Eye Drops)
Topical antibiotics (e.g. Doxycycline tablets)