Reversibility of Gland Dropout and Significance of Eyelid Hygiene Treatment in Meibomian Gland Dysfunction

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Abstract

Purpose:

To observe reversibility of meibomian gland (MG) dropout and analyze correlated factors and to compare the treatment efficiency with and without eyelid hygiene in patients with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

Methods:

Consecutive 78 eyes of 78 MGD (stage 2–3) patients who finished follow-up examination after 1-month of treatment were recruited in this retrospective study. All patients were treated with artificial lubricant and eyelid hygiene. Related ocular surface evaluation and meibomian gland assessment were examined.

Results:

There were 26 (33%) patients (included in group 1) who ignored doctors' order for eyelid hygiene, and 52 (67%) patients (included in group 2) were compliant. There was no statistical difference between group 1 (age, 44.4 ± 12.2) and group 2 (age, 38.9 ± 16.6) in characteristics and pretreatment clinical indexes. However, after 1-month of treatment, only the ocular surface disease index of group 1 improved (P = 0.048), whereas all clinical indexes of group 2, except the Schirmer test result, improved (including expressibility, all P < 0.05). A 5% decrease in MG dropout of both upper (5.4%) and lower (4.6%) eyelids in group 2 was observed. Improvement in upper-eyelid dropout and expressibility were the predictors of lower-eyelid dropout improvement. The reversibility had no correlation with age, sex, pretreatment MGD stage, disease duration, and use of topical antiinflammation medication.

Conclusions:

With expressibility-improving treatment, MG dropout was reversible to some extent. Eyelid hygiene is an efficient treatment of MGD; however, there is a need for ophthalmologists to instruct patients on conduct and supervise patients' compliance.

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