This study is aimed at comparing the effects of Tea Tree Oil shampoo (TTO) with regular-lid shampoo on the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) signs and symptoms.
Double-masked randomized clinical trial METHODOLOGY: Forty patients with MGD were treated by daily lid scrubbing with TTO shampoo in one eye and regular-lid shampoo in the other one. Before treatment and then after 1 and 3 months, the effect on ocular surface symptoms, tear production and stability, and conjunctival and lid signs of the two eyes were compared.
Plugging and capping of meibomian gland orifices, foamy tear, glands expressibility, dry eye questionnaire score (DEQ5), and tear breakup time (TBUT) were improved more significantly in TTO shampoo treated eyes (capping P=0.050, plugging and glands expressibility P=0.001, others P<0.001). In spite of improvement in both eyes, scores of meibum quality, conjunctival hyperemia, corneal and conjunctival staining, and Schirmer1 test value showed no statistically significant difference between the eyes (P= 0.06, 0.187, 0.192, 0.19, respectively). Moreover, lid margin telangiectasia resolved only in TTO shampoo treated eyes (P<0.001). Trichiasis and distichiasis changed in neither groups (P=1.000). Furthermore, ocular surface irritation during scrubbing was more common with TTO shampoo (P=0.002).
TTO shampoo was found to be more efficient than regular-lid shampoo in controlling MGD signs and symptoms although ocular surface irritation during its application was more frequent.

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