Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) Natural Treatment: Try Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy and Supplements
The meibomian gland is the microscopic oil gland that borders the edge of the eyelids (the edges which touch when the eyelids are closed). These glands produce oil, which covers the surface of your eyes and prevents our tears’ water component from drying out. The tear film is made up of two layers: oil and water. It lubricates and protects the surface of our eyes, as well as influences our vision. We may experience discomfort or impaired vision if either the water or oil layer is reduced or of low quality.
A blocked eye gland is a very common condition. Patients are frequently asymptomatic in the early stages, but chronically blocked glands gradually lose their ability to release the oil, resulting in permanent alterations in the tear film and dry eyes.
MGD treatment varies from conventional meibomian gland probing to antibiotic and steroid drops, as every case is unique and may require one or more treatments. Alternative treatment may include some of the modalities of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) like acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and nutritional supplements. Stay with us, and we will explain everything you need to know about the natural treatment of MGD.
Meibomian Gland Disease: Experience a Relief with Makari Wellness
Makari Wellness offers a tailored treatment method that combines traditional Chinese medicine and functional medicine to meet our patients’ particular requirements and the underlying issues that cause their eye illness. Treatment of the clogged eye gland aims to treat the symptoms of the disease with a powerful combination of nutritional supplementation, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and other therapies. Our holistic approach gives incredible results in slowing any eye disease, including meibomian gland blockage.
What is more, we proudly offer telemedicine consultations, which allow you to receive customized supplements and herbs, also home care exercises and therapies remotely by Michael Woodworth. Call us before your sight becomes endangered; schedule an appointment at (888) 871-8889.
What is Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)?
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a term used to describe a set of illnesses related to functional abnormalities of the meibomian glands, both congenital and acquired. MGD can cause evaporative dry eye, ocular surface disease, ocular and eyelid irritation, and a change in tear film composition. MGD can be a standalone condition, but it is not uncommon to be linked to other conditions, including posterior blepharitis, anterior blepharitis, primary meibomianitis, dry eyes, styes, and seborrheic dermatitis.
The symptoms of MGD are similar to those of the dry eyes and may include:
- Itchy eyes
- Red eyes
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Intermittent blurry vision
- Burning sensation
- Foreign body sensation
- Stickiness or crustiness
- Inflamed eyelids
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Causes
Understanding the reasons for this condition might help you see it differently. Some people are more prone to MGD than others, so here are some potential factors to keep in mind:
- Age, as the older you get, the more you are prone to dry eyes.
- Ethnicity – Asian population appears to be the most vulnerable, as opposed to Caucasians, who have the lowest rates of MGD.
- Wearing eye makeup can increase the risk of MGD, as cosmetics can clog the opening of the meibomian gland.
- Contact lenses can disrupt the glands and change their functionality.
- Spending a large part of your day in front of the screen.
- Some hormonal changes, especially in androgen and estrogen.
- Living in a very dry environment.
- Some medications like isotretinoin.
- Some eye diseases like allergic conjunctivitis.
- Genetics, as some people may be born with MGD.
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus, rosacea, Sjogren’s syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis.
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Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Treatment
The treatment of the clogged meibomian gland aims to unclog the glands’ openings, leading to normal tear film stability. Warm compresses and enhanced eyelid hygiene for eliminating occluded meibum, as well as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications aimed at increasing the quality of the meibum, are the standard therapies for MGD.
Warm compresses and lid hygiene are useful for MGD for a long time; nevertheless, heat and massage of the eyelids did not entirely cure the disease, especially in advanced cases. Massage of the eyelids gives partial and short relief from meibomian gland blockage. Warm compresses are usually applied on the outer surface of the eyelid. Topical antibiotics and corticosteroids have been demonstrated to reduce MGD symptoms and signs by suppressing bacterial colonization and inflammation of the eyelid edge.
One of the most common conditions seen by ophthalmologists is MGD. Despite various treatment options for MGD, it is still challenging to get complete symptom and sign alleviation. Patients with severe MGD frequently claim that the symptoms have a major negative impact on their quality of life.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used for hundreds of years to treat a wide range of diseases, including eye problems like MGD eye disease. For some MGD patients, this alternative practice is used as a natural comfort. It may include acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, and nutritional supplements.
Acupuncture for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Acupuncture’s initial purpose was to restore balance and promote overall well-being. It includes the usage of small, thin stainless-steel needles to promote the flow of qi, or vital energy, which runs through the body’s invisible energy pathways called meridians. A licensed acupuncturist stimulates acupoints along these meridians to promote the flow of blood and qi, two key “forces” in the human body.
Some of the main acupuncture points for blocked oil glands in eyes are:
- BL1 (Jingming)
- BL2 (Zanzhu)
- MHN9 (Taiyang)
- ST2 (Sibai)
- LI4 (Hegu)
- SP6 (Sanyinjiao)
- GB20 (Fengchi)
- KD3 (Taixi).
Excess heat and Yin and Yang imbalance of internal organs are observed in Traditional Chinese medicine as causes of MGD. It can have a negative impact on your health and everyday activities. Any TCM therapy tries to nourish the damaged organ while also boosting the body’s overall health.
Herbs for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Herbal remedies effectively treat MGD and other eye problems that can lead to visual loss if left untreated. Certified TCM practitioners frequently recommend herbal formulae to complement the benefits of acupuncture. The proper formula will be chosen for you depending on your specific health and MGD causes. Some of the most important herbal remedies may include:
- Preserve Vistas Pill (Zhu Jing Wan) – nourishes and tonifies liver and kidneys and at the same time enriches the Yin and improves vision.
- Rambling Powder (Xiao Yao San) – supports the flow of the liver’s meridian energy.
- Goji Berry and Chrysanthemum tea – this tea contains significant heat-clearing qualities that are vital for treating the symptoms of MGD. Goji berries are good for the lungs, kidneys, and liver because they help generate yin fluids like tears. It is best to consume the berries after you have finished your tea.
- Rehmannia Pills to Brighten the Eyes (Ming Mu Di Huang Wan) – resolves liver blood deficiency, kidney Yin deficiency, and liver Yin deficiency.
- Sea buckthorn oil – This particular oil, extracted from the berries of a cold-weather shrub, includes beneficial oils as well as omega-7, a type of important fatty acid. This little-known ingredient is particularly helpful for strengthening tears and saliva and enhancing overall lubrication. Eicosanoids produced from the fatty acids in the oil, or carotenoids and tocopherols in the oil, may have a positive effect on inflammation of the meibomian gland cells.
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Diet
Healthy eating benefits all of your body’s systems. Your eyes are no exception; they require vitamins and minerals to reduce the likelihood of MGD and safeguard your eyesight. Focus on these vital nutrients if you want to improve your eye health and alleviate dry eye problems:
- Omega-3 fatty acids – They help reduce inflammation in the eyelids and on the eye’s surface. They may also assist your tears in doing their job more effectively. Fresh tuna, mackerel, sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring are good sources of Omega-3s, as well as nuts and seeds, soybeans, vegetable oil, and green, leafy vegetables.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin – These two antioxidants decrease your chances of developing various chronic eye illnesses. They aid in the health and function of the cells in your eye, among other things. They can be obtained from the consumption of eggs, maize, and leafy greens like broccoli, kale, collards, and spinach.
- Zinc – This is an essential mineral that aids in the transport of vitamin A from your liver to the retina, where it is converted into melanin, a pigment that helps keep your eyes safe. If you do not receive enough zinc, your eyes are more susceptible to infection. Because your body does not produce zinc on its own, you must obtain it from your diet, which should include lobster, oysters, salmon, eggs, pork, beef, etc.
- Vitamin C – Also known as ascorbic acid, is an important nutrient for eye vessels. Sources of vitamin C is orange and grapefruit juice, cooked spinach, apples, tomatoes, and bananas. If you are a woman, aim for a minimum of 75 milligrams a day (about one cup of orange juice). For men, a daily amount is around 90 milligrams.
How to Unblock Eye Oil Glands at Home?
In the early stages of the disease, self-care can be beneficial. You can put a warm, wet washcloth or a heat pack over your eyelids twice a day for 5 minutes. It will loosen the oil, especially if the fingertip massage follows it – look down and slowly roll one side of your index finger from the top of your eyelid down to the lash line for the upper lid. Look upwards and roll your finger up to the lash line for the lower lid. Cleaning with a non-soap cleaner once a day can help unclog gland openings. Apply it with a warm, damp towel to your upper and lower lash lines.
How Long Does Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Last?
It is normally not a life-threatening illness, although it can cause pain and blurred vision. The glands may quit operating permanently if MGD is not addressed. Most cases can be controlled with good eye hygiene, which should include the meticulous cleaning of the eyelid scales and the usage of hot compresses.