Clogged oil glands

Within the past 6 months, I have had several  patients come into my office complaining of stinging and burning eyes.  They also had concerns regarding intermittent blurred eyesight for about 10 minutes, similar to an oil film over their vision.  In severe cases, these patients have developed recurring styes.

So what’s going on?  Most of them are suffering from something called meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).  About 33{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5} to 50{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5} of patients suffer from this condition.  Meibomian glands are the oil glands on our eyelids.  They secrete the oil layer for our tears and prevent its evaporation.  When these glands are clogged up and start to be inflamed,  it’s called miebomitis.  Once the meibomian glands are clogged, the oil content usually becomes a thick buttery substance.  Deposits from bacteria, bacterial by-products, or make up at the base of the lashes can clog up the meibomian glands.


The first line treatment includes warm compresses and lid scrubs.  The warm compresses raise the temperature of the buttery substance; therefore, thinning the meibomian gland secretions.  At Avenue Eyecare, we usually have the patient return in 1 month.  We then utilize a Mastrota Meibomian Paddle to facilitate expression of the clogged oil glands.  We usually see our patients with improved signs and symptoms.

For advanced cases, topical steroid/antiobiotic combination drugs may be used for short term use.  If the inflammation is very pronounced, oral doxycycline or Omega 3 supplements would also be recommended.

If you are suffering from burning dry eyes, sometimes artificial tears are not enough.  Come by Avenue Eyecare for an evaluation.

Vancouver Kerrisdale Optometrist

Contact Avenue Eyecare to book your appointment today.