Meibomian gland (MG) width doesn’t appear to play a part in patients’ ability to successfully wear contact lenses, a study in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye reports.

Researchers from five sites in the United States and Canada also looked into the MG structure, which is often linked to dry eye and other ocular surface diseases. The investigators found lower lid MGs were wider than those in the upper lid, and narrower lower eyelid glands were associated with worse expressibility—the latter suggesting narrower glands may produce abnormal meibum.

The study included 56 patients between the ages of 18 and 45 who dropped out of contact lens wear due to discomfort. Researchers compared the dropouts with 56 age- and sex-matched patients who were successful contact lens wearers. The investigators evaluated the right eyes of the patients for tear break-up time, tear meniscus height, MG expressibility, meibum quality and meibography.

The study found both the dropout and successful contact lens groups had similar grades for upper and lower MG atrophy, tortuosity and widths. They also noted an association of upper and lower MG tortuosity and widths, but not atrophy.

Investigators also reported an association between lower MG widths were and MG expressibility, but gland widths were not linked to any other factors.

Researchers suggest clinicians should evaluate the MGs in both eyelids during a clinical exam.

1. Pucket AD. Jones-Jordan LA. Kunnel CME, et al. Impact of meibomian gland width on successful contact lens use. Contact Lens Anterior Eye. June 19, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].