You may not have heard of your meibomian glands, but if you consistently experience itchy eyes, the function of these glands may have something to do with it. Meibomian glands are crucial for the comfort and functionality of your eyes. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) takes place when these glands stop functioning properly and can happen for a number of reasons.
Continue reading as our experts at Mack Eye Center explain more about your meibomian glands and why they may be responsible for your itchy eyes.
What Are Meibomian Glands?
Near the eyelashes, there are oil glands that line the upper and lower eyelids; these are the meibomian glands. Oil is secreted from these glands and coats the eye and tear film. This oil ensures that tears do not evaporate too quickly and helps keep the eye comfortable and moist. When your meibomian glands do not produce enough of this nourishing oil, tears can evaporate at a faster rate, which makes your eyes more prone to dryness and itchiness, as well as general discomfort.
Symptoms of MGD
Meibomian gland dysfunction can be hard to recognize at first, and many people do not realize they have this issue since it is usually accompanied by other common eye conditions. It is important to note that while MGD is not the cause of all dry and itchy eye symptoms, it can cause or exacerbate them. MGD symptoms include:
- Itching or burning eyes
- Eyelid inflammation
- Foreign object sensation
- Crusty discharge
Getting a Diagnosis
When you visit Mack Eye Center, your ophthalmologist will conduct an eye exam to determine if MGD is the cause of your itchy eyes and other symptoms. Pressure may be applied to your eyelid to release the oil secretions and examine the quality. Additionally, a tear breakup time test may be used to further evaluate the tear film. One of our ophthalmologists will create a tailored treatment plan that is appropriate for addressing your symptoms.
Itchy Eye Treatment at Mack Eye Center
At Mack Eye Center, we know that itchy eyes can negatively impact your life, especially if you are unsure of the cause or any possible solutions. Our experts are dedicated to your eye health and look forward to helping you learn more about your meibomian glands and dysfunction that can lead to these undesirable symptoms. To discuss your treatment options for itchy eyes with one of our eye doctors, call the Mack Eye Center today.