What is meibomitis and how does it cause dry eye?

Meibomitis or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a condition that affects the eyelids that is very common.  The meibomian glands secrete oils that make up the lipid layer of the tear film.  The lipid layer helps to hold the tear layer in place on the eye longer thus improving and stabilizing the vision.


close up of chalazion


MGD can lead to symptoms of eyelid redness, dry eyes, ocular irritation, and blurred vision.  It can be thought of as acne of the eyelids because the oil glands along the edge of the eyelids become inflamed and stopped up by thick oils.  These oils can form small white dots that look like pimples and can enlarge to form a chalazion (stye). Just as in acne, removing bacteria, removing excess oils, and reducing inflammation are the keys to therapy.  Other forms of treatment are also available, but I recommend warm compresses and Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser as the foundation of therapy.

If you are having problems with dry eyes or red eyelid margins, you may have MGD.  Stop by and let us evaluate your eyelids and ocular surface.

Click here for more detail on eyelid irritation