The Meibomian Glands are the oil glands of the eyelids. They are located within the upper and lower eyelids – there are about 25-30 of them in each of our eyelids. The Meibomian Glands play a critical role in maintaining a stable, healthy film of tears over our corneas (front part of the eyes). They are so critical that without them we would be unable to see clearly!
Unfortunately the Meibomian Glands are quite vulnerable to stressors such as age, extended viewing of electronic screens (phones, tablets, computers), impaired blinking (very common), certain medications, autoimmune disease, dietary influences and just living in a dry environment among others. These factors lead to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), an extremely common component of Dry Eye Disease.
At MVO we now have advanced treatment options for MGD. These are explained below.
“What exactly does IPL do?”
PHOTOBIOMODULATION: Delivery of light energy of a specific wavelength in short bursts to address many of the mechanisms leading to Dry Eye Disease (specifically Meibomian Gland Dysfunction).
IPL has the following benefits which are involved in many Dry Eye Disease types:
· Anti-inflammatory – targets inflammatory processes at the cellular level
· Heat transfer – short, intense bursts of light energy are accompanied by heat which helps address stagnant oil glands, remove obstructions and reduce inflammation
· Antimicrobial – Most people with Meibomian Gland dysfunction will have a higher than normal microbial concentration in and around the eyelids. These microbes (bacteria and mites) perpetuate the Dry Eye Disease cycle and can be difficult to control with more conservative measures such as lash scrubs done at home
· IPL also changes the Enzymes involved within the cellular processes contained within the oil glands, helping to re-create the proper chemistry to improve the health and stability of your tear film
“What exactly does RF do?”
THERMAL RESTORATION: Delivery of energy in the form of heat to:
· relieve gland obstruction and allow more free-flowing oil (tackles this in many cases more effectively than IPL)
· stimulate collagen and elastin within the skin of the eyelid to restore elasticity. (loss of elasticity of the eyelids contributes to dysfunction of the Meibomian Glands)
· RF may be performed as a stand-alone treatment in more mild cases of Dry Eye Disease, in patients who are not candidates for IPL or in combination with IPL if patients have significant obstruction/blockages in their Meibomian Glands