EyeRounds Online Atlas of Ophthalmology
Meibomian Gland Disease
Often invisible under the palpebral conjunctiva, the meibomian glands make the oil layer of the tear film. In meibomian gland disease, the glands often widen in response to stress and then begin to atrophy.
Figure 1. Classic appearance of inlammed lid margin with insipated meibomian gland orifice.
Figure 1 contributed by Jordan M. Graff, MD and Ryen D. Fons, MS3
February 8, 2008
When the lid is pulled toward the examiner, the raised and inflammed area surrounding the gland can be better appreciated.
(higher resolution images of figure 1, not available)
With mild pressure on the lid margin, thick purulent material is expressed from the orifice.
May 13, 2016
Figure 2. Meibomian Gland Disease
In meibomian gland disease, the glands often widen in response to stress and then begin to atrophy. Infrared images such the ones in figure 2 allow better visualization of the meibomian glands than the white light view. The right is the original image and the left is an enhanced version. This patient has severe meibomian gland disease. The glands nasal and temporal have dropped out entirely and the remaining glands are very short and tortuous.
Figure 3. Blunted Meibomian gland on the lower lid
In these images it is possible to see the blunted meibomian glands on the lower lid and to see that they only extend about a quarter or halfway up the tarsal plate.
- Please see our related entry on EyeTransillumination.org
Figure 4. Complete atrophy of Meibomian glands
This patient had such severe meibomian gland disease that the glands are completely atrophied. You can see where the glands used to be.
Ophthalmic Atlas Images by EyeRounds.org, The University of Iowa are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.