An Overview of Meibography and Meibomian Glands



Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) is a leading cause of dry eye, affecting the essential oil layer of the eye’s tear film and leading to rapid tear evaporation. Proper diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment and relief of symptoms.  MGD is a chronic condition that can progress if left untreated. Meibography is a non-invasive screening tool that accurately diagnoses MGD, allowing Dr. Copeland at Innovative Eye Care to provide optimal treatment to achieve the best outcomes for our patients.



What Are Meibomian Glands and Why Are They Important?

The meibomian glands are found in the upper and lower eyelids; each lid contains about 20-30 glands.  They are long tube like structures that are responsible for producing a crucial component of your eye’s tears—oil (meibum).   Every time you blink a clear oil should be released from these glands onto the outer surface of your eyes.  This oily substance forms a protective outer layer of the tear film, preventing rapid evaporation of tears.  The meibum glands get clogged up and do not release oil properly in people that have MGD. This leads to dry eye symptoms such as grittiness, redness, and irritation.  If the gland is clogged up for long enough it goes away.  At this point, there is no known way to bring the glands back.  This is why it is extremely important to intervene with treatments such as TearCare® when meibomian gland loss is detected at any stage.

What is Meibography and How Does it Work?

Meibography works by using high-definition infrared imaging to visualize the morphology of the meibomian glands and reveal any structural abnormalities, such as gland loss and/or thickening.  Meibography enables Dr. Copeland to prescribe the most appropriate treatment to help keep the glands healthy. Early detection and treatment are essential, as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is progressive and irreversible.  Severe stage MGD can cause corneal damage, extreme eye discomfort,  and even vision loss if left untreated.

Ready for Relief from Dry Eye and Eye Irritation?

If you are experiencing eye irritation or suspect you have MGD, schedule your comprehensive clinical exam and Meibography screening with Dr. Copeland at Innovative Eye Care today! We can ensure proper diagnosis and effective treatment to relieve your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. 

If you have already had your Meibography screening and you’re here for more information, please contact us with any questions.