Topical glaucoma therapy may increase the prevalence of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), researchers say.1 Additionally, drops may have an effect on the eyelid changes associated with MGD.

A recent study looked at MGD prevalence in 50 glaucoma patients and 40 healthy controls. All of the glaucoma patients had used topical glaucoma medication for at least six months, and the average duration was 27.4 months. Additionally, all patients in the study were younger than 50.

After using slit lamp microscopy to evaluate each patient’s MGD presence, researchers found an MGD prevalence of 82% in the glaucoma group and 52.5% in the control group. Beyond that, the study looked at tear film break-up time, ocular surface staining and Marx line scores; results show significant differences between the groups.

According to the study, the degree of MGD was especially correlated with the Marx line score. This could indicate a new way to assess MGD in future studies involving this patient population. “The Marx line score may be used as an index to evaluate MGD in patients with glaucoma,” the study concluded.

1. Kim JH, Shin YU, Seong M, et al. Eyelid changes related to meibomian gland dysfunction in early middle-aged patients using topical glaucoma medications. Cornea. 2018;37(4):421-5.