Dry eye breakthrough: Meibomian Gland Probing

myeyespecialist offer Meibomian Gland Probing– a procedure revolutionising the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction, which is a common cause of posterior blepharitis and dry eye syndrome.

What are the meibomian glands?

The meibomian glands are large sebaceous glands located in the tarsal plate of the eyelids. In normal functioning, these glands actively synthesise and secrete lipids (fats) and proteins that are delivered at the upper & lower eyelid margin. The glandular lipids spread onto the tear film, promote its stability and prevent its evaporation.

Meibomian glands can become blocked for a variety of reasons including exposure to environmental irritants such as debris or airborne chemicals, age-related factors, health, lifestyle (including contact lens wear) and medications.

What is meibomian gland dysfunction?

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a chronic, diffuse abnormality of the meibomian glands, commonly characterized by tear duct obstruction and/or changes in glandular secretion. It may result in alteration of the tear film, inflammation, ocular surface disease and symptoms of eye irritation.

How is it treated?

Studies have shown that treatment with warm compresses and ocular surface lubricants leads to improvements in tear film lipid layer thickness and tear film stability in patients with MGD. However, if the glands are significantly blocked these traditional therapies have failed to consistently provide effective results leading to ongoing suffering and frustration for patients. For these cases, Meibomian gland probing offers a significant breakthrough, as clearing the glands allows us to restore the natural flow of meibum to the surface of the eye, relieving pressure and symptoms of this condition.

Meibomian gland probing has been shown to be highly successful in restoring meibum secreting lid functionality persisting up to at least 7 months. The treatment involves anesthetising the eye with a local anaesthetic and using a fine Maskin probe to individually clear each gland under an operating microscope. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete and it can be repeated at a later date if required. To reduce the likelihood of the glands blocking up again, patients will be placed on a course of drops and they will be closely monitored in our rooms.