Punctal Plugs

If you experience eye discomfort such as dryness, burning, irritation, or itchiness, you could be dealing with dry eye syndrome. This condition arises when your eyes fail to produce sufficient tears or when the tears produced are of poor quality, leading to inadequate hydration. In some cases, dysfunction or blockage of the meibomian glands, responsible for producing the oily component of tears, can contribute to tear evaporation.

Your optometrist might recommend the use of punctal plugs to help alleviate symptoms of dry eye.

What Are Punctal Plugs?

Punctal plugs are small devices that are inserted into the tear ducts to reduce drainage of tears from the eyes. These tiny devices are made of biocompatible material and are gentle and smaller than a grain of rice. Punctal plugs can be temporary or semi-permanent and ensure that the maximum amount of tears remain on the eyes at all times by increasing tear volume, resulting in less itching, burning, and redness.

Types of Punctal Plugs:

Temporary Punctal Plugs:

Temporary punctal plugs are made of dissolvable collagen that can be naturally absorbed by the body over time. These plugs can last anywhere from a few days to six months in the eye. Temporary punctal plugs are also commonly used after refractive surgery, such as LASIK, to keep the eye moist.

Semi-permanent Plugs:

Semi-permanent plugs are made of medical grade plastic, such as silicone which lasts longer. These plugs are made to stay in the eye for years, but can be removed by your optometrist if needed.

Are Punctal Plugs Right For Me?

Punctal plugs are a great option for dry eye patients to try to reduce the need for eye drops. Talk to your optometrist at Optic Gallery Fort Apache about your dry eye symptoms and to find out whether punctal plugs would be a good fit for you.

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