Meibomian Glands: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Remember when you were first diagnosed with blepharitis or MGD and heard about meibomian glands? Who knew secreting oil into your eyes was so important. Who knew the glands that did it could become so sick?

Meiboimian Glands: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Remember when you tried to say the word meibomian the first time? It probably didn’t come out quite right. Miyoban. Miboan. Mayobeen.

Hint: It’s My, as in my house. Bow, as in bow tie. Me, as in me and you. An, as in an apple. My-Bow-Me-An, with an emphasis on Bow.

Eventually you tried different treatments, from warm compresses to lid wipes to any number of in-office procedures. If you were lucky you learned about meibomian gland probing and had it done by someone trained to do it right. Finally, your meibomian glands were working and meibum, the oil they secrete, was lubricating your eyes.

You may have had to undergo surgeries — like AMT — or continue other treatments – like lubricating drops and warm compresses — and may have wondered, was probing worth it? If you still had to do all of those other things, why would you have to have your glands probed too?

Meibomian Glands After Probing

We could take time explaining it, but a picture is worth a thousand words. This month, the picture is on the cover of the British Journal of Ophthalmology and shows a series of meibomian glands before and after probing.

Meibomian glands before and after probing

The pictures show that after probing meibomian glands were longer. Longer means they produce more oil. More oil means more lubrication and a longer tear breakup time. In other words, longer means more comfort and more relief.

Most people report feeling better after probing, but without visible proof of its effectiveness it might be hard to understand exactly how probing helps. These photos show just one of the surprising ways probing improves eye comfort.

You probably didn’t know about meibomian glands until you got Dry Eye, but at least now you know about the simple procedure that can make them regrow.

And remember, it’s My-Bow-Me-An.

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