Non-pharmaceutical treatment options for meibomian gland dysfunction

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This review examines currently available non-pharmaceutical treatment modalities for meibomian gland dysfunction. A detailed search of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases was performed to identify original articles in English that have evaluated such nonpharmaceutical therapies in patients with this condition. Conventional therapies such as application of a warming compress, the practice of lid hygiene, and manual expression of meibomian glands as well as more technologically advanced approaches such as intraductal probing, thermal pulsation, and intense pulsed light therapy are included in the review. These non-pharmaceutical treatment options may each have a role to play in the management of meibomian gland dysfunction, but more studies are necessary to compare treatments directly under identical experimental conditions in order to determine their relative efficacy. Additional large-scale, randomised, controlled trials are also required to provide more information such as the specific indications best suited to each treatment modality, the efficacy of such approaches in combination with pharmaceutical-based therapy, and the mechanisms of action of some of the more technologically advanced systems.

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