Background: The aim was to investigate the efficacy of mechanical meibomian gland squeezing combined with eyelid scrubs and warm compresses in participants with moderate and severe meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Methods: In this prospective, uncontrolled, open label, intervention study, 32 eyes of 32 participants with moderate and severe MGD were treated with mechanical squeezing of meibomian glands in combination with eyelid scrubs and warm compresses. We evaluated tear film break-up time (TBUT), corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining scores, biomicroscopic examination of lid margins and meibomian glands, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and tear film lipid layer thickness determined via an interferometer before initiating treatment and after one month of treatment. Results: There were significant improvements in TBUT, corneal and conjunctival fluorescein staining scores, lid margin abnormality, meibum quality and expressibility, OSDI and MGD stage after mechanical meibomian gland squeezing combined with eyelid scrubs and warm compresses (p < 0.001 for TBUT, corneal fluorescein staining scores, Dry Eye Workshop score, Oxford staining score, lid margin abnormality, meibum quality, expressibility, OSDI and MGD stage and p = 0.001 for conjunctival fluorescein staining scores). There were no significant differences in lipid layer thickness or interferometer-derived parameters before treatment and after one month of treatment. Palpebral conjunctival erosion detected after the squeezing treatment resolved spontaneously in all participants. Conclusions: Mechanical squeezing of meibomian glands combined with eyelid scrubs and warm compresses can provide clinical benefits without serious adverse events.
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