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Premier Vision Clinic, Dr. Jennifer DenHartog, Optometric Physician

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Blinking Exercises

It is said that one of the main causes of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) may well be tied to a patient’s blink rate. Theories suggest that the lack of a full or complete blink can result in less pumping activity of the lower eyelid meibomian glands, which are responsible for 78% of the oils in the tear film.

A partial blink may be have many causes including lagophthalmos, use of digital devices, cosmetic surgery and simply an inability to blink that has been learned or developed over years. The average person using a computer blinks 4.4 times per minute as opposed to someone who is gazing (21 blinks per minute) or in conversation (over 30 blinks per minute).

The obstruction from the lack of a good blink rate should be managed with options ranging from commercial compresses such as the Bruder mask to lower eyelid debridement to Thermal pulsation such as LipiFlow. Inflammation should also be controlled with options ranging from Restasis, combination agents like Zylet to oral doxycycline or omega-fatty acid nutritional supplements.

Lid hygiene should also be included such as OcuSoft Lid Scrub options, SteriLid or hypochlorus acid options to name a few. In-office BlephEx is an ideal mechanical treatment to assist with blepharitis and the biofilm that may be present on the eyelids. But the original cause is the blink rate so perhaps blink exercises as you see here might be of great benefit if patients are willing to implement this option.

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