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MGD Simplified: A 3-Step Treatment Approach

TearCare at Beverly Hills Optometry Advanced Dry Eye Center

Dry Eye Disease is a significant burden for both patients and doctors. Patients are frustrated managing their condition with over the counter (OTC) remedies, which often mask the problem and only target their symptoms (not the root cause). Additionally, there is plenty of misleading information as well as endless unregulated options when it comes to choosing eye care products.

In fact, we still have first-time patients who carry Visine in their pocket, use baby shampoo to clean their eyelids, a warm washcloth to heat their oil glands, consume fishy tasting omega-3s or cosmetic eye makeup with ingredients that may irritate the ocular surface (Top 10 Eye Makeup Nasties). Unfortunately, these may do more harm than good. Additionally, when dry eye disease is left untreated or treated incorrectly, the situation continues to worsen and may become more challenging to manage in later stages, particularly in older patients. 

Understanding the condition, its causes, and modern office-based diagnostic equipment and therapeutic procedures has empowered countless of our patients and led them on a path to relief. 

What is MGD?

Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye disease (DED). In fact, MGD is attributable to 86% of total DED cases. Meibomian glands are oil glands within the eyelids that can be imaged in-office with a device called a meibographer. If the glands are damaged structurally or producing unhealthy meibum (i.e. thick cloudy or toothpaste-like material) then the patient is diagnosed with MGD. On the other hand, healthy meibomian glands secrete clear, liquid oil that forms the most superficial layer of the tear film and  prevents the evaporation of the aqueous layer (water layer of the tears).

Since dry eye disease is complex, multi-factorial, chronic and progressive, it can be difficult to treat. Over the last 9 years, we’ve shared that early detection and intervention are key. We have also created a simpler treatment algorithm to manage the condition.

3-Step Treatment Protocol

At Beverly Hills Optometry, we developed a three-step approach that helps between 85-90 percent of our patients (and for our most challenging patients, we have additional options). We start by targeting the three main areas: 1) unclog the obstruction, 2) control the bacterial/demodex/biofilm overgrowth and 3) reduce the inflammation.

Advanced Thermal Pulsation devices, like Lipiflow, TearCare, Systane ILux, work effectively and safely to remove blockages within the oil glands of the eyelids. Micro-Blepharo-Exfoliation (MBE) such as BlephEx, works to remove surface build-up, dead cells and plaque that disrupts the orifices (or openings) of the meibomian glands. Photo-biomodulation with OptiLight IPL is a modern tool to improve pcular surface inflammation while also photo-sanitizing and stimulating the oil glands. As a desirable side effect, IPL also helps with skin tightening and collagen strengthen.

I am proud to share that our systematic method positively impacts those with contact lens discomfort, ocular redness, fluctuating vision, corneal damage, and those seeking surgical options like blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, PRK, cataract surgery, refractive lens exchange, SMILE, etc).

Contact our talented team today to schedule a dry eye consult and treatment that's right for you (bheyeguy.com/schedule).

Author
Dr Kambiz Silani Chief Clinical Director

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