June 19, 2018

Is it Dry Eye or Meibomian Gland Dyfunction?

Symptoms of dry eye can include burning, itching, a ‘sandy feeling” in the eyes, or, ironically, watery eyes. Dry eye can become more prevalent as we collect more birthdays.

Did you know that usually dry eye is not a problem with the water portion of your tears? 85% of the time, dry eye is caused by a deficiency of OIL in your tear film. The thin oil layer in your tear film acts both as a layer of lubrication to prevent the eye from becoming irritated by your blink, and as a shield to prevent evaporation of the water layer of your tear film.

How do we fix an oil layer that is too thin? Depending on the severity of the dry eye, there are several steps we can take. My first step is usually to recommend 3000 mg fish oil daily – not just any fish oil, but triglyceride (TG) form fish oil. Most fish oils on the market are processed using heat, which convert the natural (TG form) oil molecules into ethyl ester (EE) form, which our bodies cannot absorb well. Most fish oil on the market is EE form, which is why fish oil gets its reputation for GI issues, after taste, and “fish burps.” TG form fish oil, which is much easier for our bodies to absorb, goes right to our oil glands and helps them produce more, healthier, oils for our tear film.

Some high-quality TG form fish oil manufacturers include:
* Physicians Recommended Nutriceuticals (PRN) Dry Eye Omega
* Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

If your eyes itch, burn, feel sandy or are constantly watering, please talk to your eye doctor about evaluating you for dry eye.

3 Comments on “Is it Dry Eye or Meibomian Gland Dyfunction?

[…] meibum is absolutely vital for creating stable tears that properly cover and protect the eye.  In MGD, oil is not being properly secreted from the glands because they are blocked, clogged, inflamed, or […]


[…] talked briefly about Meibomian gland dysfunction and how this aspect of dry eyes can impact vision.  But even while knowing the basics, it can be […]


[…] know that Meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD, can play an undeniable role in dry eye disease and ocular discomfort.  When Meibomian glands are […]


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