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Meibomitis

Meibomitis is an infection of the meibomian glands. What are the meibomian glands? They are glands inside of your lower eyelid which secrete one element of your tears. Tears actually come from several places and the meibomian glands are one of those places. It is very common for these glands to get clogged with flakes of skin or infected with bacteria and begin to cause problems. When this happens the lids become thickened and red. Patients often experience dry eyes as well as a foreign body sensation, matting of the lids upon awakening, itching, tearing and burning. Sometimes the eyes are just vaguely uncomfortable. Sometimes it can make your vision blurry.
I’m sorry to say there is no miracle cure for meibomitis. But there are things that you can do to keep it under control. The most important thing for you to do is soak your eyes with hot water with a washcloth. The water should be very hot (but don’t burn yourself). Keep it on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. When the water starts to cool, put the washcloth in hot water again. The stuff that clogs up the meibomian glands is like wax. By heating them you melt the wax. Alternatively you can use a mask that you can buy at the drug store, which is easier and more effective. The next step, now that the stuff is melted, is to gently massage your lower lids with your finger. Gently roll your finger upwards towards the lid edge to “milk” the softened stuff (called sebum) out of the glands. Finally, you need to simply clean up. There are commercially available pads that you can use or if you prefer you can use a wet Q-tip and a diluted solution of baby shampoo and water.
Sometimes if the glands are infected and not just clogged, Dr. Mitnick will prescribe an antibiotic  to apply to your lower lid margin (edge). Other times if the lids are very irritated he might prescribe a steroid ointment. Other options include the oral antibiotics, fish oil or other omega three fatty acids, punctal plugs, or a procedure meibomian probing, which actually opens the closed glands. 
Dr. Mitnick will give you a schedule for doing the soaks and using the medications, but remember you need to keep doing it to feel better. You may find after you do it for a while that you can just do it once or twice a week but if you stop entirely your eyes will bother you again. It’s like brushing your teeth, if you stop you will have problems.