Dry eye is becoming quite the buzz word. We are hearing more about it as we spend more time on digital devices and as dry eye research and treatment options expand rapidly. Is there anything in your beauty routine that could be contributing to or increasing your risk of developing dry eye disease?
Dry eye disease has many different causes and factors. One common factor is meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) — a condition that affects roughly 20-50% of the population. Meibomian (my-bo-mee-an) glands are little oil glands which line our eyelids and open near the base of our eyelashes. The meibomian glands have been getting much more attention lately as we have learned more about their functioning and importance for quality tear production. They secrete the oily component of our tears which prevents evaporation and keeps our tears stable on the eye’s surface. MGD occurs when the oil in the glands does not flow properly which can lead to dryness, inflammation, irritation, tearing, styles, as well as permanent damage to the gland structure.
MGD can be detected during a routine eye examination. Our optometrists assess the gland function under the slit lamp but also take scans of the glands using meibography. This advanced technology allows us to view their structure and address early signs of trouble before dry eye symptoms occur.
More research is revealing that certain ingredients frequently found in cosmetics like mascara, eye shadows, face creams, and eyelash enhancements may be toxic to these glands. Here are a few tips to keep your meibomian glands healthy:
|Things to avoid:|
Sleeping with makeup on
Waterproof eye makeup
Eyelash perms and tints
|Specific ingredients to avoid near the eyes:|
Tretinoin or retinols
Botox (specifically for crow’s feet)
There are many more ingredients that can be problematic or irritating to the eyes. For more information see your optometrist.