At New York Laser Vision, patients often come to us to treat dry eye. However, dry eye isn’t always a straightforward issue of a lack of tears. In some cases, the burning, itching sensation comes from Blepharitis (MGD). What is the difference between these two concerns, and how are they related to each other?
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DRY EYE AND BLEPHARITIS (MGD)?
Dry eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) share similarities in that they both produce a burning and itching sensation in the eyes. However, the main difference is their respective causes. Dry eye stems from a lack of tears, while MGD derives from a lack of oil production in the eyes.
WHAT IS DRY EYE?
Dry occurs when an individual's eyes do not produce enough tears to dampen them and keep them comfortably moistened. The eyes risk developing an infection without sufficient tears. Aside from the discomfort, if untreated, dry symptoms can lead to vision loss, eye inflammation, corneal ulcers, and abrasions on the cornea.
HOW DO YOU TREAT DRY EYES?
There is a range of possible treatments to help alleviate dry eyes. Some require help from a specialist, while others you can simply do at home.
- Stay hydrated
- Use a humidifier for moisture
- Reduce the usage of electronic screens
- Take Omega-3 supplements
- Apply warm compresses
- Use eye drops
- Take medication
- Use special contact lenses
HOW TO PREVENT DRY EYES
Try practicing the 20/20/20 rule. This rule involves taking a break every 20 minutes from activities, stopping completely, and focusing on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Other sources suggest blinking more frequently since the tears we naturally produce wash our eyes. Tears also improve our vision by sharpening the images our retinas receive.
Additional preventive measures include:
- Sleep: seven to eight hours
- Limit screen time
- Wear protective sunglasses
- Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day
- Avoid smoke, wind, and air conditioning
WHAT IS BLEPHARITIS?
Blepharitis, or Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), refers to inflammation or blockage of the Meibomian glands on the top and bottom of the eyelids. You can develop dry eyes if the oil from your meibomian glands stagnates. There are two types of Blepharitis. Anterior Blepharitis involves the exterior part of your eye, the area between the eyelash and the eyelid. Posterior Blepharitis affects the inner edge of the eyelid.
Although Blepharitis does not pose any blinding threats, without treatment, it can lead to cornea disease, alterations in eyelid morphology, invasion of new blood vessels, and ulcers.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF BLEPHARITIS
Among the leading causes of Blepharitis are the following:
- Eye inflammation
- Dry Eyes
- Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
Notable Blepharitis symptoms include:
- Red eyes
- Blurred vision
- Dry eye
- Crusty eyelashes
- Swollen eyelids
Why Choose New York Laser Vision?
If you suspect you are developing dry eyes or Blepharitis, it’s important to consult a professional immediately to prevent further damage. At New York Laser Vision, you will find a group of dedicated experts ready to support you, properly review and diagnose your concerns, and determine the correct treatment to resolve your eye concerns. We offer state-of-the-art treatments, friendly, understanding care, and a commitment to helping you live life to its fullest. Call now to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.