What is meibomian gland dysfunction and how is it treated?


The treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction can be divided into various modalities.

One is to try to allow a healthy oil to run smoothly through the glands, which is achieved by heated eye masks, followed by eyelid massages and wiping the lid margin. The second is to address the inflammation, which is the underlying disease of the glands. We can address the inflammation by giving either anti-inflammatory treatment or taking supplements of omega-three. The omega threes are very effective to slow down the inflammation, as well as give you the amino acids, which your body requires to produce a new meibum. That is the oil from the glands.

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If this simple modality is not effective, then other modalities like antibiotics, topical or systemic antibiotics, and anti-inflammatories can be given. Sometimes if the disease is very active and the inflammation is ongoing, you can go through other inflammatory products, which can be applied straight on the eye. Unfortunately, this type of treatment is ongoing, and there might be a period where the eye feels better.

Finally, if the simple modalities are not effective, then thermal treatment or intense pulse light is very effective in addressing the function of the glands. This is one of the new treatments advocated now to help the glands to function well by stimulating the glands. This is not isolated from the other modes of treatment and can be used in addition.

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About the expert

Mr Samer Hamada | Consultant Ophthalmologist and Corneal Surgeon

MD, MSc, DO (hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth I am Samer Hamada, founder and consultant ophthalmic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience in ophthalmology. I am a world-renowned specialist in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. I’m not only a leading surgeon but also the only dual fellowship trained in corneal diseases in children from reputable institutions in the UK. At Eye Clinic London I work closely with other consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. Our main aim is to make sure our patients get the safest and best treatments available to them. We put your safety before anything else so you can rest assured that if you choose us you will be in the best and safest hands.

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