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Thread: Blocked Meibomian Glands

  1. #1
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    Blocked Meibomian Glands

    What causes blocked meibomian glands? Is it known? Sorry if this is a dumb question. ;}

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    hi there,no dumb question at all. it is a very complex matter. i've been diagnosed with mgd and blepharitis a couple of months ago myself. i had lasek 5 years ago. i still do not fully understand what this all means,but this is what i'm told: due to the refractive surgery the cornea may have become less sensitive than before and this causes a lowered blink rate. this lowered blink rate can cause blepharitis and mgd in the course of time. long time users of contact lenses can develop the same condition due to a less sensitive cornea. allergies are also suspected. (obviously you can have them checked by an allergist). this is what i know. maybe it is incorrect or incomplete,but if anybody can add more information or correct me. please feel free to do so.

    patrick...

  3. #3
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    As I understand it -- blocked glands are caused by the meibum(oil) becoming solidified like wax The reason we use heat on the lids is to melt this and then massage to get the glands flowing again

    Why the meibum goes solid in the first place and how to prevent it Thats what we need to know

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. The reason I ask is because I have a blocked meibomian gland for the first time and was wondering if it could have been caused by starting hot compresses a few months ago. I never had any blocked meibomian glands before I started hot compresses and was just worried that it could be related. Do you think it could be related or just coincidental? Thanks ;}

  5. #5
    rhad Guest
    The Oil secreted by your Meibomian glands become thick like wax, because of Bacteria that overgrow inside the meibomian glands, the bacteria produce byproducts that mix with your normal meibum or oil, and it produces a soap like or wax like substance, it then blocks or obstructs the gland, and causes inflammation. the thick waxy consistency of the oil could also be caused by inflammation alone of the eyelids and glands. the cause of the inflammation is not yet known.

    but we do know that inflammation is the result of the immune system reacting to something, as that is where inflammation comes from-the immune system.

    rhad

  6. #6
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    bubble on lower lid

    I have been treated for the past 14 months with mgd/bleph and treatment has been very warm compresses up to 3x a day and a few weeks ago I developed a bubble on my lower lid along with a severe flare of inflammation.The Dr. used a pointy sticklike instrument and quite harshly pushed on my lids and unplugged them all.He said the bubble was the start of a stye.I have recently been diagnosed with rosacea and told to stop the heat and now another bubble has appeared and I can feel the stye coming.Question is the recommended treatment for a stye is heat and I've been told to stop but I got the stye while doing the heat compresses also.Does anyone know how to treat this?Please don't suggest asking the Dr. as he is tired of dealing with me.Thanks for any advise.

  7. #7
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    ....I would suggest another doctor. Do not be afraid to switch if necessary!

  8. #8
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    Sandra Lee
    Are you sure it is a stye and not a chalazion ?
    A stye is an infection of the hair follicle of an eye lash
    A chalazion is a cyst of one of the meibomian glands
    Treatment for either would be antibiotic ointment
    I got rid of my chalazion with chloramphenicol eye ointment , but also I squeezed it every night after heat and massage and it went down after a week
    Now i squeeze every night along each eye lid to prevent further chalazions and blockages and still use the ointment evey night on the lid margins
    This system has got my my dry eye condition well under control !

    Rhad
    Thanks for answering the question why the oil becomes waxy

  9. #9
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    Is it possible that hot compresses caused my blocked meibomian gland?

  10. #10
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    I cant see how that logically would -- heat liquifies the oil
    Unless too much heat increases inflamation and swelling happens which blocks the ducts ??? any one

  11. #11
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    Doubt heat is the culprit. There's published evidence backing up the idea that heat liquefies the thickened meibum - and that the longer you use that heat, the better lipid coverage you get on your eye.

  12. #12
    I agree Rob. i saw the dr this week and he showed me on camera how the heat melts it down. First he did an expression and then set up a camera he has added some heat to the eyes aka warm compress and showed me how he melted the stuff out and took very little pressure to get the gunk out. It was very cool. I tonl hime to give me a copy of the film but he said no youd put it on you tube and laughed. Warm compress really make a remakeable difference.

  13. #13
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    Hey Mike. I love that camera. Nothing has given me a better understanding of what a lousy situation I'm in - I saw him only get meibum out of one lonely gland on my lower left lid. I hope to go back next month and see if we can make that gland a "friend" or two, now that I've been doing the heat regiment so much since the first time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicmadcap View Post
    Is it possible that hot compresses caused my blocked meibomian gland?
    I think it's also a matter of getting the right temperature; doctors advised me to have the compress as hot as I could stand it but I don't think it always did my lids any good.

    http://www.revoptom.com/content/d/patient_care/c/15811/

    Warm compresses. A study out of Oxford University found that heating the lids about 9ºF significantly increased meibomian oil production.7 Using warm compresses, heat should be applied to the eyes for two to 10 minutes. This warms the meibum, allowing it to flow more freely, and helps soften lash debris....... This should encourage compliance by helping incorporate lid hygiene into the daily routine—

  15. #15
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    I don't want to open a new thread, so I'm posting my question here. I have MGD and inferior plugs. Should I get them removed ? I have the theory that the plugs are retaining the toxic secretions coming from my MGs and that's why I feel worse. Could that be possible ?

  16. #16
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    Warm compresses and ocular rosacea

    After seeing 6 different Dr's in the past 14 months who all agreed I had mgd/blepharitis,I was told by 5 to do hot as I could tolerate compresses,1(a specialist in Boston)advised theratears imask.Nothing worked and I was getting progressively worse until I went to a specialist in NYC and he said I had Rosacea which was causing my mgd,bleph and to not use any heat!!!!!!Use cold!!!As he is quite a distance from me I cannot keep going back to him but he is going to fax his notes to a new opthamologist I am seeing tomorrow and I was just wondering how ocular rosacea members here manage their lid hygeine.As I only ever read heat and massage I am confused.Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandra lee View Post
    After seeing 6 different Dr's in the past 14 months who all agreed I had mgd/blepharitis,I was told by 5 to do hot as I could tolerate compresses,1(a specialist in Boston)advised theratears imask.Nothing worked and I was getting progressively worse until I went to a specialist in NYC and he said I had Rosacea which was causing my mgd,bleph and to not use any heat!!!!!!Use cold!!!As he is quite a distance from me I cannot keep going back to him but he is going to fax his notes to a new opthamologist I am seeing tomorrow and I was just wondering how ocular rosacea members here manage their lid hygeine.As I only ever read heat and massage I am confused.Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
    I have skin rosacea too and I wonder if I should use hot or cold compresses. Please, keep us updated about what your Dr says about this.

  18. #18
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    I had my visit with yet another new opthamologist today and he was wonderful.As I have been misdiagnosed for the past 14 months he immediately agreed (as Dr. L did)that I indeed have full blown Rosacea and has agreed to treat me(although I am not going to let myself have great expectations).No heat for me and lid massage (I do this morning and night)sometimes with my forefinger and sometimes use q-tips in sterile water.He started me on Azasite(I was on this last year and it helped but symptoms did roccur after a few months)but told me to(with clean fingers)put a drop on my finger and close my eyes and rub it back and forth across both lids in each eye(1 drop each eye) and to use Refresh Plus(which I had been on previously.I need to see a dermatologist asap(but in my area fastest appt. will be end of January)and start treatment for the Rosacea.He had a few suggestions also if you would like to PM me.Just thought I would share this regiman if anyone wants to consult their Opthamologist.Good Luck to All!!!!

  19. #19
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    What you've said, below, is the traditional explanation given by the eye care profession. I suspect that the real answer is that your eyelids are suffering from an allergic response to allergens in the air, causing them to become red produce thick pus instead of the thin, clear oil that they are supposed to produce. You might want to check out my guide to treatment options for Blepharitis and MGD, which I've posted in this forum. The original guide has over 3,000 views, and I've posted an updated guide within the last month.

    Quote Originally Posted by stella View Post
    As I understand it -- blocked glands are caused by the meibum(oil) becoming solidified like wax The reason we use heat on the lids is to melt this and then massage to get the glands flowing again

    Why the meibum goes solid in the first place and how to prevent it Thats what we need to know

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