Meibomitis is a chronic inflammation of the Meibomian glands. There are twenty Meibomian glands, a form of sebaceous glands along the lower eyelid and about forty along the top lid that produce a sebum also called “meibum”. Meibum helps lubricate the surface of the eye, necessary to help maintain not just the smoothness and moisture of the eye, but also good vision. Healthy meibum has a certain colour, viscosity and physical composition produced with each blink. Considering that we blink about 15,000 times or more per day, the eye is constantly kept lubricated. Meibomitis is a chronic ocular disease that leads to enlarged, irregular and clogged glands that limits and then ultimately stops the production of meibum. Signs of Meibomitis may include itchiness, grittiness and watery eyes. If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it’s just allergies, and consult an ophthalmologist immediately.
Meibomitis can lead to other ocular diseases such as Blepharitis and Evaporative Dry Eye Syndrome. It has been found that the most successful approach to treating Meibomitis is a synergistic one; simultaneously treating the disease both internally and externally. A mild-moderate case of Meibomitis may require adding an eyelid scrub to your daily hygiene routine, lubricating drops, or a hot compress with massage to your eyelids. We may also recommend an Omega-3 fish oil as a part of your treatment. If this approach doesn’t work, then the next step would be a procedure called Masking Meibomian Gland Intraductal Probe or Masking Probe for short. The Masking Probe is a simple out-patient procedure where the doctor applies an anaesthetic gel to the eyelids and then uses a small, blunt probe to gently remove any blockage within the glands. This treatment is known to provide immediate and gratifying relief for many patients.
Do get in touch with Dr Nita Shah at Aayush Eye, if you face any of the symptoms mentioned above.