|Clogged meibomian glands contribute to dry eye and are a contraindication for Lasik.
Meibomitis, also known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, is a potential contraindication for all cornea based refractive surgery procedures, especially Lasik and Bladeless Lasik, but a patient with meibomitis may be an appropriate
refractive surgery candidate if the problem is manageable and treated.
Cause and Symptoms
Dysfunction of these glands causes tears to evaporate more rapidly
and leads to symptoms of dryness, burning, and irritation. There
is a natural bacteria that thrives on the corneal surface. These
bacteria can colonize the meibomian glands and cause problems.
The number one reason the glands dysfunction is because they
get clogged up. The reason they get clogged up is usually due to
hormonal changes - changes in estrogen levels can cause a thickening
of the oils. It has been suggested that changes in estrogen levels
also cause a proliferation of the staphylococcal bacteria that inhabit
the eyes and these bacteria invade the meibomian glands and thrive
there. The double trouble caused by the thickening of the oils plus
the bacteria gradually decrease the secretion of oils from the glands.
Oral and topical antibiotics are often prescribed.
You can keep the gland oils from solidifying by using warm compresses
as they help to melt the lipid "plug".
Punctal occlusion can provide some relief from the symptoms
of dry eye, however this may not be the best response for meibomitis.
Using temporary plugs may show if occlusion will help. If the temporary
plugs do not provide any relief, then this is a good indication
that the permanent plugs will not work. If the temporary plugs provide
any relief at all, then permanent plugs make sense.
The medication Restasis is the anti-inflammatory cyclosporine in
an ophthalmic eye drop that may be helpful for meibomian gland dysfunction
and related dry eye. Discuss Restasis with your doctor.
Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?
If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional
or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization.
Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.
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