Punctal Plug as a treatment for dry eyes | Basir Eye Center
Punctal Plug as a treatment for dry eyes
Oculoplastic specialist

Punctal Plug as a treatment for dry eyes

Punctal plugs are some small devices which their application is to treat the dry eyes. Punctal plugs are also known as lacrimal plugs or punctum plugs. A punctal plug is not bigger than a rice seed. These plugs would usually be recommended by the doctor if eye drops fail to solve the problem. Two types of lacrimal duct plugs are:

  • Dissolvable: it is built of some special materials which our body can absorb, like collagen.
  • Semi-permanent: it is created of some materials that can last a long time, like silicone.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye disease is the condition in which your eyes can not make quality tears as much as your eyes remain wet. The chronic dry eyes have some indications such as eye irritation, some damages or scratches in your eye. You may experience blurry vision too.

During the dry eye syndrome, your eye would make more tears to solve this problem. But the fact is that the tears don’t have the required quality and are mostly made of water, so they can’t keep your eyes wet. Because of this trouble, the eye starts to create more tears, even more than your eye can keep inside. So tears flow out of your eyes.

Punctal plug insertion

The eye doctor would prescribe some treatments for your dry eye but if they don’t heal you well, he may prescribe punctal plugs (tearing plugs). An eye surgeon would put the plugs inside the tearing channel (duct) hole. That is where our tear flows to the back of our nose and throat. The plugs function is to stop tears to flow out so that your eyes remain wet and smooth.

Specialists say that punctal plug insertion is an outpatient procedure. The surgeon would use anesthesia during the operation. He would use a special tool to put the plugs in. You will feel neither the plugs nor pain. It would not take much time to do the operation.

Punctal Cautery

If the punctal plugs could not solve the dry eyes problem, the doctor may use Punctal Cautery. In this method the doctor firstly would numb your eye and then places a tip cautery in your tear duct and burn it to close that part. So the tear would not exit the eye.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

If someone has dry eyes, he would have some of these indications too:

  • Feeling pain
  • His eyes may be tired
  • Sore eyes
  • He may feel burning in his eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • He may feel itching in eyes
  • Eye redness
  • In some cases the eyes may be heavy
  • He might be sensitive to light (Photophobia)

Punctal plug insertion complications and risks

In most cases the punctal plug (punctum plugs) insertion has no serious risks. But we mention some of the side effects that may happen rarely:

  • The plug may move from its proper location. It can happen when the patient rubs his eyes so that the plug moves with his force. In this situation your doctor can solve the problem
  • Eye infection may happen in some cases, but seldom. Your eye may react to the plugs that are inserted into your eye. It can be followed by tenderness, inflation and redness
  • Patient might suffer from too much tearing (watery eye after the insertion can be normal. So it’s better to consider it with your eye doctor)
Signs
  • Feeling pain
  • Sore eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye redness
  • You may feel itching in eyes
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