Punctal plugs are small biocompatible devices that are inserted into the tear duct of the eyelids to block drainage. This is kind of like putting a stopper in the sink or bathtub to prevent drainage. What occurs on the eyes (as in the bathtub or sink), is the water does not drain out as quickly so there are more natural tears and moisture on the eyes. This helps with dry eyes by helping to keep more of your natural tears on your eye, to keep it lubricated. Inserting punctal plugs is a non-invasive and quick in office procedure. The plugs we use are semi-permanent, they usually last 3-6 months (if not longer) and are easily removable if necessary.
Dry eye disease can be a debilitating condition for some and can severely affect their quality of life. Punctal plugs are not the solution for everyone with dry eyes disease, as there are multiple causes of dry eye disease, however it can be very beneficial for some patients. After doing a dry eye assessment, your doctor would be able to tell you if punctal plugs are the right choice for you. At our office, we insert punctal plugs in office on patients who are good candidates for plugs. We usually follow up with patients a few times to year to monitor how their plugs are working and to monitor their dry eye disease. Once inserted they tend to reduce reliance of artificial tear drops and help improve the patient’s quality of life.
If you are interested in punctal plugs or a dry eye assessment or would just like more information about either of these topics, please contact our Ancaster optometrist's office our staff and doctors would be happy to help you.