Dry Eye/MGD


Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. One common reason you may have dry eyes is due to a lack of proper blinking. When looking or staring at anything for an extended period of time, you tend to blink less. The less you blink, the more the eyes tend to dry out. This can occur while watching TV, reading a book, working on the computer, or looking at your cellphone. You also may experience dry eyes in a number of different situations, such as in an air-conditioned room, riding a bike, driving with the windows down, or just by being outside on a windy day.

Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:
  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes, especially in the mornings
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty seeing to drive at night
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue


For some people, the cause of dry eyes is increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears. For others, it is simply decreased tear production.

Common causes of decreased tear production include:
  • Aging
  • Auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis
  • Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants or antidepressants.

Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:
  • Wind, smoke or dry air
  • Blinking less often
  • Eyelid conditions, such as the bottom lids turning in or turning out

Without proper treatment, dry eyes can make daily activities frustrating, affecting your everyday life. For most people with occasional or mild dry eye symptoms, treatment can be as simple as regular use of over-the-counter artificial tears (be sure to avoid those that advertise redness relief, as these can often make symptoms worse). For more moderate to severe cases, symptoms may be controlled with a prescription eyedrop that contains the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine, such as Restasis or Xiidra. Other treatment options include punctal plugs, omega 3s and Lipiflow.


Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes (corneas) smooth and clear, as well as helping to protect your eyes from infection.

MGD, or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, is a blockage or abnormality of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are responsible for producing the healthy oils that your tears need in order to lubricate your corneas. These oils are important because they keep the tears from evaporating too quickly. If your glands become blocked, they are not able to expel the proper oils for your tears, resulting in dry eyes. MGD is often the underlying cause of dry eye syndrome.


There are several factors that can contribute to MGD including age, lack of proper blinking and medications. It has also been found that menopausal changes can affect the function of the meibomian glands, which is why MGD affects more women than men. Another contributor is the every day use of electronic devices in today’s culture. Blinking patterns significantly change when reading from a tablet, phone or computer when compared to printed text such as a book or newspaper.