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Six Things You May Not Know About Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

1. Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the leading causes of dry eye. 

- The lack of oil secretion from the meibomian glands can cause tears to evaporate rapidly, causing eyes to feel dry.

2. There are tests to evaluate your dry eye. 

- Your optometrist can use tools such as a Meibomian Gland Evaluator to determine if the glands are producing enough oil to keep the eye lubricated. Tear assessments can also be completed to determine how quickly the eye produces tears and how long until they evaporate. 

3. There are approximately 25-40 meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20-30 in the lower eyelid.

- The length of the glands is approximately 5.5mm in the upper lid compared to 2mm in the lower eyelid.

4. Several factors can affect tear production

- The amount or quality of tears decreases as we age, but other factors such as environmental conditions, medications, and lifestyle play an important role. The increasing use of technologies such as computers and smartphones can cause people to blink less which results in increased tear evaporation.

5. It is estimated that 70% of Americans over the age of 60 have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. 

- It is believed that MGD is under diagnosed and under treated. Asymptomatic MGD may be more command than symptomatic MGD, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor as risk increases with age. 

6. There is no cure for MGD

- While there is no known cure, there are several ways that symptoms can be managed. Good lid hygiene and products such as warm compresses are common. Only an eye doctor can tell for sure if you have meibomian gland dysfunction and provide the best dry eye treatment for your particular needs.


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