Meibomian gland dysfunction, when left untreated, can have long-term health and lifestyle consequences:
- Inability to maintain stable and sharp vision, regardless of your prescription power or the quality of the lenses you purchased
- Constant watery eyes
- Contact lens intolerance (you can no longer wear contacts)
- Decrease in quality of life due to your inability to enjoy activities that are affected by wind, air, dust, air conditioning… such as biking, running, traveling by airplane or car
- Increase frequency of blepharitis or other eye infections
- Higher risk of complications from LASIK surgery
- Increased monthly cost in temporary relief treatments such as eye drops, heat masks… etc
- Tired or fatigued eyes
- Burning or stinging of the eyes
At the beginning stages of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), you may not have any symptoms. As MGD progresses, your meibomian glands will have decreased function, which is when you feel discomfort and dry eye.
At its worse, meibomian glands that are left inflamed or clogged for too long will eventually atrophy (die off) and our eye doctors may not be able to revive them or bring them back.