Ghiandole di Meibonio
The meibomian glands and located in the upper and lower eyelids. They produce meibum which contains lipid oils that spread through blinking onto the surface of the eye. The purpose of the oily layer is to reduce evaporation of the tears. Meibomian gland dysfunction causes a reduction in lipid secretion resulting in increased evaporation of tears. As the watery component of the tears evaporates, the tears become saltier resulting in inflammation and damage to the surface of the eye. In most cases of MGD, the oily secretions are reduced because of changes to the oily secretions such that they become more like butter rather than liquefied oil. In addition, blockages at the top and inside the glands also prevents the release of meibum. Over time, this causes damage to the meibomian glands causing them to reduce in size and number. MGD is caused by several factors such as activities, environment, age, hormonal changes (in both women and men) as well as medications, pre-existing eye conditions and eye surgery. Medical treatments for MGD involve lid hygiene, warm compresses, omega 3 supplements, tear substitutes, specific oral antibiotics, drops that suppress the immune system and anti-inflammatory drops. Although artificial tears temporarily relieve symptoms, they do not treat the root cause. Furthermore, scientific evidence shows that MGD treatment with in-practice procedures such as intense pulsed light, is effective in treating MGD by reducing inflammation, microbiological load, tear salt concentration and improving the quality of meibomian gland secretions.