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Can Cold Compressed Freeze Meibum?

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  • Can Cold Compressed Freeze Meibum?

    Was wondering if using cold compresses freeze the flow of meibum?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Aster View Post
    Was wondering if using cold compresses freeze the flow of meibum?
    Not sure what you mean by freeze. I don't think there is a medical/scientific consensus on this but it seems unlikely.

    From what I understand, the causes of viscous/cloggy meibum and MGD have a lot to do with (1) inflammation and (2) bacteria, demodex mites, etc. in and around the glands and eyelid margin-- which may cause chemical changes in the meibum that leads it to clog.

    If temperature alone were enough to freeze or clog meibum then humans living in cold environments (e.g. the Inuits) or anyone who often swims in cold water would be at increased risk of developing MGD. Yet I have read many papers about dry eye and seen nothing about this. Humans have seemingly been living in cold environments for thousands of years without developing MGD.

    The body is very good at homeostasis and there are many blood vessels in the eyelids. If you do a cold compress it may make your meibum more viscous for some time, but it's unlikely to freeze it. When you take the compress away, your body will bring the gland area back up to normal body temperature pretty quickly.