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Treatment for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction in Knightdale NC

If someone told you that you had meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD, you'd probably have no idea what the term even meant. But if that same person described dry, reddened, itchy, gritty-feeling eyes, you might be quick to recognize these symptoms in your own eyes. Many cases of dry eye are in fact caused by this blockage of the glands that add oil to your tear film. Fortunately, you can get treated for this annoying, progressive condition by your optometry experts in Knightdale NC, The Eye Institute.

woman getting eye exam

What Is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction?

To understand the role played by the meibomian gland, it helps to understand the nature of the tear film itself. Your tears are more than just water; they actually spread out over the eye's surface in a three-layered film consisting of mucin (the inner layer), water (the middle layer), and oil (the outer later). The mucous helps the water adhere to the eye, while the water provides essential hydration to keep the corneal tissues moist and healthy. The oil layer performs the critical role of covering the water layer to keep it from evaporating. The oil comes from a set of tiny glands called meibomian glands, which are located in the inner part of the upper eyelids. When these glands can't do their job properly, your eyes dry out, causing:

  • A gritty or "foreign object sensation" in your eye
  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Burning sensations
  • Sticky or crusty debris in the eye
  • Burring of vision

Meibomian gland dysfunction typically occurs when debris blocks the gland openings. This may be the result of thickened secretions from infrequent blinking, a common problem among computer users. Age, underlying diseases, menopause, and certain medications may also be contributing factors. Sometimes the immediate cause simply isn't clear. What is clear, however, is that the meibomian glands can eventually stop working altogether if the problem isn't dealt with -- leading to chronic dry eye and possible corneal damage.

MGD and Dry Eye Care From Your Optometrist in The Eye Institute

The good news is that meibomian gland dysfunction, and the dry eye it so often produces, can be successfully treated right here at The Eye Institute. Your optometrist at The Eye Institute can employ numerous diagnostic techniques to evaluate your tear film composition and meibomian gland function. If your oil production is lacking, we may administer treatments such as:

  • Manual probing and dilation of the glands to remove blockages
  • The use of warmth and pressure to soften built-up secretions and express the glands
  • Antibacterial or cyclosporine eye drops
  • Omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements (or dietary additions) to improve oil consistency

Schedule an appointment at The Eye Institute today

If your meibomian glands are in need of some high-quality eye care, bring them to our clinic so we can improve their comfort, health and function. Call 919-266-2048 today to set up an appointment with your optometrist in Knightdale NC!

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Family of 4 that recently moved to the area and we are so thankful to have found such a wonderful office!! One of the hardest things when relocating is finding new doctors, but this was an easy one. The staff and Dr.'s are absolutely wonderful. From the very first phone call to the last check out, everyone in the office went above and beyond to make sure that our care and needs were being met. We have 2 younger children and they loved their office visit. We were able to get appointments right away and all of us were seen at the same time, such a stress taken off our shoulders with that one!! Thank you again to such an amazing office, so very thankful we found you!!!

Mary B.
Knightdale, NC

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