Why do we get dry eyes? Our tears come from glands in the eyelids. One type of glands, called Meibomian glands, secrete thin oil into the tear film which floats to the top of the tears and keeps them from evaporating. It is thought that Meibomian gland dysfunction may be responsible for as much as 90% of dry eye problems.
For this reason, doctors are starting to refer to Dry Eye Syndrome as Eyelid Inflammation, or Blepharitis. Sometimes it is called Meibomian Gland Disease, or MGD. When our Meibomian glands are not working properly, instead of secreting thin oil, they become plugged with a thicker paste-like substance, which can lead to the glands dying altogether.
How do I know if I have dry eyes, eyelid disease, or how bad it is? If you are having any of the symptoms listed above: dryness, burning, grittiness, or other irritation, you should schedule an appointment with us or with your eye doctor.
You should also schedule an appointment if you or someone else notices that your eyes or eyelids look red or have debris in your eyelashes. If you use any artificial tears but find that you need to use them more than 2-3 times per day, this would also be a reason to schedule an appointment.