When I was a resident at NY Eye and Ear Infirmary that one of my attendings would come to the emergency room to ask us to pop his inspissated (clogged) meibomian glands with a 30g needle. I wish I had figured it out then that this was a pain reliever!
Since then, hundreds of patients have had probing around the world with excellent results. It is not a cure in some cases, but it can significantly help with eye pain.
Here is a paper published by some Harvard colleagues. They note that 91.4% of patients noted symptomatic improvement after the procedure. This is similar to what we have found. While there is no guarantee, we have many patients who have been thrilled with the eye pain relief of this procedure.
The next question is: how long does this pain relief last?
In my experience, it depends on the gland structure (what is the meibography grading)? Does the patient have an underlying autoimmune disease or taken Accutane in past or had radiation or chemo? What is his or her general health? How often will he or she be able to do warm compresses? How much Omega 3 is he or she taking?
These are the questions we need to answer objectively as well.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
Dynamic Intraductal Meibomian Probing: A Modified Approach to the Treatment of Obstructive Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.