Chronic Dry Eye


This is what we see on the TV commercials, and your eye doctor may have already given you this diagnosis.  We understand it is an age related condition, or we may feel that it is allergy related.  Do we know for sure?

What we do know is that the eye is dry because either we are not producing enough tears, or our tears are drying up too quickly, leaving the eye without moisture.

In my research, I have found that the major cause of dry eye is dysfunction of the meibomian gland.  (MGD)  I can almost see you scratching your head, and wondering what I just said.  The Meibomian gland is located behind the eyelashes on both the top and lower eyelids.  They produce a fatty substance that is added to the tears, and slows the evaporation of the tears.  When something happens to the production of the fatty substance, then we have eye problems.

meibomian-glandFrom a recent article:  MGD occurs when the meibomian glands, located in the eyelids, do not sufficiently produce and release the oils needed to protect and maintain a healthy tear film.  This causes the watery layer in the tear film to evaporate.  Thus, the problem for many dry eye patients is not inadequate tear production, as thought for so many years, but a lack of oil production that ensures the protective integrity of the tear film is maintained on a daily basis.


While more prevalent in older adults, MGD can occur at any age. In addition, improved detection methods have shown that MGD can occur in young adults and children, possibly because of the common use of digital display devices today. Excessive use of display technologies can lead to infrequent blinking, called “evaporative stress”.   Infrequent blinking creates a demand for more lubrication on the eye, stimulating more oil production from the meibomian glands.  Over time, this leads to thickening of the oil, blockage of the gland opening and shutdown of oil production in the gland.


So, what can we do to alleviate dry eye?  One thing we can do is to oil ourselves within.  Research shows that Omega 7 fatty acids greatly improve the symptoms of dry eye.


Practical help is available too.  All too often, women who sleep without removing their eye makeup find that the makeup debris flakes off the eyelids and eyelashes, makes its way into the meibomian glands, and stops the flow of oils needed to keep the surface of the eye healthy.  Removing your makeup nightly and massaging the eyelids has been shown to help with the restoration of the function of that gland.


Additionally, there are eye masks that can be purchased that can help.  These masks can be put in the microwave, and then applied to the eyelids.  The mask will heat up the meibomian glands, the heat will soften the oil in the glands, and normal flow may resume.  You can research these products yourself, or you can just use a warm washcloth and massage the eyelids, which may help restore the flow of the oils.


There is also some research that shows CBD oil (10-15 mgs) daily can help restore the function of the meibomian glands.  When searching for this product, please make sure you are getting a good clean product.


I hope that you are encouraged that Chronic Dry Eye is not something that you have to live with.  There are many things that you can do to help your Meibomian glands recover.


Until next time,

Dr. Polly




About Polly Heil-Mealey, ND, P.Sc., HHP, M.Ed., C.C.I.

Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey is the Past-President of the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA), as well as an IIPA Certified Iridologist with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Naturopathic degree. She has been involved in education and Biblical health care since 1994. Dr. Polly has been active in both television and radio, presenting community service programs covering various topics. An international traveler, she gives seminars on alternative health practices, incorporating iridology and Biblical nutritional counseling. Dr. Polly now uses her expert ability to communicate vital and useful information to help her clients build or restore their health. One of Dr. Polly’s greatest passions is to see her clients restore their health through natural therapies. Every success story confirms the need for education in holistic practices. Dr. Polly brings a high level of dedication and commitment to her clientele. She has touched the lives of many with her concern and selfless devotion. The verse “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” is a scripture that touches every level of society. As clients learn and understand holistic protocols, they are able to improve their health drastically by incorporating diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. Polly is married to Stephen Hale, and together they have eight children. Both are very active in their church and serve on various boards in their community. Dr. Polly is also the director of Women’s Ministries of her church. Dr. Polly and Stephen reside in Humble, Texas.
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2 Responses to Chronic Dry Eye

  1. Vanessa Hall says:

    Thank you! This was very helpful to me.

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