What you need to know about MGD
What is MGD (Meibomian gland deficiency)?
Meibomian gland deficiency is the inability of the Meibomian glands to secrete their contents in a manner that promotes a healthy tear film and ocular surface.
What causes Meibomian gland deficiency?
The two major causes of Meibomian gland deficiency are age and digital device use. Meibomian gland deficiency becomes much more common in patients over 50, and much more common in patients that spend significant amounts of time on computers, tablets, and cell phones.
How does Meibomian gland deficiency affect me?
Meibomian gland deficiency can cause burning and irritation, blurry vision, and make it more difficult to wear contact lenses with the comfort and clarity you need.
How is MGD treated?
Mild forms of MGD can be treated with hot compresses and lid scrubs. The best hot compresses are temperature-maintaining, gel-filled masks you can microwave for a brief period of time and will stay hot for several minutes. The purpose of the lid scrub afterward is to promote migration of the Meibomian gland contents and clean away and debris or thick excretions that were freed during the heating process. Supplementation with a lipid-based artificial tear drop can also be very effective.
Severe forms of MGD can lead to severe redness and irritation, infectioussties on the eyelid, and even reduced vision. These cases often require treatment with antibiotics or steroids. Many moderate to severe cases of MGD benefit greatly from in-office MGD treatments, such as Thermal 1-Touch.
What is Thermal 1-Touch?
Thermal 1-Touch is a new, in-office treatment for blepharitis caused by Meibomian gland deficiency.
How does Thermal 1-Touch treat Meibomian gland deficiency?
Thermal 1-Touch is a compact, wearable device, similar to glasses in size and shape, which gently rests a pair of heat-conductors on the closed eyelid margin and heats them to 110 degrees for a period of 10 minutes. After the thick Meibomian gland contents have been heated and liquefied, your eye doctor uses a small forceps-like device to manually clear the Meibomian gland contents and remove Meibomian gland obstructions on all four eyelids.
Once any obstructions have been removed, your eye doctor will send you home with maintenance therapies (lid scrubs and tear drops) to use for the next 4 weeks, in order to keep your Meibomian glands functioning well and prolong the effect of your Thermal 1-Touch treatment. While many patients do well with a single in-office treatment and 4 weeks of at-home therapy, severe cases may require regular re-treatment or prolonged use of at-home therapy. Every patient is different, so be sure to talk to your eye doctor about what is best for you after your Thermal 1-Touch treatment.