Researchers are examining dry eye syndrome‘s relationship to meibomian gland dysfunction and other eye conditions.
According to The Cornea & Contact Lens Society of New Zealand, “meibomian glands are the oil-producing glands located in both the upper and lower eyelids… This oil helps to stop the water in the tears from evaporating, thus helping to prevent dry eyes.” Dry eye symptoms can result when this stabilizing oil does not reach the tear film.
Spanish scientists publishing in Cornea found that nearly 50% of subjects with dry eye also had meibomian gland dysfunction.
In this study, it was also concluded that “Pterygium*, trauma, cataract surgery, pseudoexfoliation, and glaucoma are associated with signs of dry eye.”
*If someone has a raised, cream colored growth in the white of his or her eye, then it might be what is called a pterygium. These non-cancerous growths generally grow in the nasal side of the white of the eye. Caused by extended time spent in hot, windy environments, people who live on the equator are 10 times more likely to develop this problem than those living in the United States.
Though not dangerous, a pterygium can eventually distort vision because it can grow onto the cornea, and eventually even onto the central part of the eye which can block entering light. If removed surgically, there is a 40% chance that the problem will recur and the growth will return to be even larger and more aggressive.