Dry Eye v. MGD – What’s the Difference?

Sneaky_Dry_Eye_Syndrome-2.jpgBeing in the eye care profession, one of the most common complaints people have is their eyes are dry or often too watery. Many of these patients suffer from
Dry Eye Syndrome for years before getting a professional evaluation. They just complain and complain but never think to have it checked by a qualified eye doctor, simply because the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome are sneaky! They mimic a lot of other conditions.

For instance, many people attribute their symptoms to eye strain, like spending too much time in front of a computer screen, causing their eyes to sting or burn. Some assume it’s allergies, because their eyes itch and water. Some even blame their contact lenses for drying their eyes out! They buy over-the-counter eye-whitening drops that only temporarily relieve uncomfortable symptoms, but do nothing to address the real problem. This fleeting fix keeps patients suffering for years without knowing there is a root cause remedy.

Related Read: Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome? Signs to Look For

MGD Is Often Misdiagnosed as Dry Eye Syndrome

At Brill Eye Center, we expressly focus on Dry Eye Syndrome and MGD (Meibomian Gland Dysfunction), which is often misdiagnosed as Dry Eye Syndrome. Your meibomian glands provide the oil in your tears that help your eyes form a proper tear film. Since the oil sits on top of the water, it prevents the water from evaporating.  Picture two drinking glasses: one just has water in it, and the other has water with a quarter-inch of olive oil on top.  Guess which one would eventually evaporate completely when a blow dryer is pointed at the liquids?  Hopefully, you guessed the glass with just water.  The oil actually protects the water from evaporating.  This same concept holds true if you have MGD and not enough oil in your tears.

Without enough oil, your tear film can dry out too quickly between blinks leaving your eyes feel sandy, gritty, or scratchy. Since these symptoms mimic Dry Eye Syndrome, patients can easily be misdiagnosed and continue to suffer from dry eyes.

Don’t Procrastinate Any Longer in Getting a Specialized Dry Eye/MGD Evaluation

Untreated dry eye conditions continue to get worse over time because the problem is chronic and progressive. If the meibomian oil glands are not functioning, they will atrophy, following the “use it or lose it” principle of how muscles will waste away if not used. This is followed by inflammation that can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea and permanent loss of vision.

Eliminate the Endless Parade of Taking Drops–Do Something Different

The bottom line is you should not suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome or MGD needlessly. We can provide you with a diagnosis and a spa-like, 12-minute treatment called LipiFlow to fix the real problem rather than just masking the symptoms. With the right treatment, the doctors at Brill Eye Center can make your eyes feel normal again and improve your quality of life.

If you suspect you have Dry Eye Syndrome or MGD, take our quick Dry Eye Test.