Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a common eye condition, yet many people don't realize they have it. You get it when there's a problem with a few dozen tiny glands in your eyelids that help make the oil layer of your tears. These meibomian glands, named after the German doctor who studied them, make an oil called meibum. Meibum, water, and mucus form the three layers of the tear film, the fluid that keeps your eyes moist. The oil helps prevent the water layer on the eye surface from evaporating or drying out too quickly. Changes to the amount or quality of the oil, or to the glands themselves, can lead to MGD. It's often the result of a combination of things.
The most common type, obstructive MGD, happens when the gland openings get clogged, and less and less oil reaches the eye surface. Your doctor will tailor treatment based on the stage of your MGD as well as any underlying medical condition you have.