How do you loose your Meibomian Glands?
These little organs inside each eyelid have their orifice/opening at the base of the eyelashe and are crucial to producing precious oil for your tear film.
This is how it happens in most patients;
1. If the opening gets obstructed from bacteria or mites or from make-up, then the oil cannot get out.
2. If the oil cannot get out, it can sometimes produce a stye or chalazion. But often, the oil gland likely down regulates (the same way it does if you stop breast feeding your baby or milking a cow: less milk is produced) and less oil is produced.
3. When less oil is produced, the gland begins to atrophy (ie, die away),
4. If not caught early, the gland will form permanent scar tissue that we cannot revive.
In some patients, direct toxic effects of radiation or certain chemotherapy will internally destroy the gland.
We assess gland dropout noninvasively by noncontact infrared meibography, which makes it possible to monitor gland dropout during and after treatment. However, whether reversibility of gland dropout exists is still a controversial issue, and research focusing on this topic is lacking: I think many cases of meibomian gland drop out is irreversible but I have seen it reverse in some patients who have Lipiflow, IPL, or Probing.