In treating Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, you will often get clogged oil glands. In order to keep the glands working properly you will need to “melt the butter” as Dr. Flaherty says. If you have ever heard her speak on dry (which she often does) you will know that she refers to the oil glands in terms of butter and oil. When the glands are clogged it is due to the meibum being too thick, the consistency of butter. When you apply heat, it melts that clogged butter into oil. We can accomplish this with a few different treatments, but the therapy is the same; heat!
For a simple and easy at home treatment, a heated mask can be used. This mask goes into the microwave for a few seconds and is worn for 10 minutes. These masks are specially developed to hold a consistent heat. That is key to getting the oil flowing. Our favorite brands are Eye Eco, Optase, and Tear Restore.
If you are needing a little more help, we can perform an in-office treatment that provides heat with gentle vibration. This added vibration will promote the movement of the meibum.
Other at home mask treatments include Eye Eco Eyeseals and Tranquileyes.
Cleansers are available to help control blepharitis which is inflammation of the eyelids at the base of the lashes, generally due to clogged oil glands. These cleansers can contain hypochlorous acid or tea tree oil.
Nighttime drops or ointments are also used to help keep the eyes lubricated overnight. These drops are usually thicker than a daytime drop, allowing for maximum relief while you sleep.