Should You Get Punctal Plugs To Treat Dry Eye?

Health & Medical Blog

Having your eyes feel dry can be more than a minor annoyance. When your eyes are dry, they often feel itchy. If you itch them, you may introduce particles that scratch your cornea and bacteria that could lead to an infection. As such, it is always recommended that you bring dry eyes to the attention of your eye doctor and seek treatment. One treatment your eye doctor might recommend is punctal plugs, which are tiny plugs placed in your tear ducts. Are punctal plugs a good treatment option for you? Consider the following pros and cons as you decide.

Pro: Punctal plugs don't involve medication.

There are medications that can help manage dry eye. They often work by increasing tear production or reducing inflammation in the eye tissues. However, these medications do sometimes cause side effects. Punctal plugs, on the other hand, are a non-medicated means of dealing with dry eye. This makes them a wise choice for patients who don't react well to dry eye meds or who would rather avoid these meds for any reason.

Con: Punctal plugs don't always fully address severe dry eye.

Punctal plugs work by preventing the tears from leaving the surface of the eye via the tear ducts. If you have mild to moderate dry eye, this usually keeps your eyes moist enough that your symptoms subside. But if you have serious dry eye and are producing next to no tears, punctal plugs alone may not be a solution. Even if all of your tears are trapped in your eye, there may still not be enough tears.

Pro: Punctal plugs can easily be inserted and removed.

Punctal plugs can be inserted in your eyes during a visit to your eye doctor's office. You'll be given some eye drops to numb your eye, and then the plugs will be put into place. It only takes a few minutes. If you ever need to have the plugs removed, the procedure is similarly simple.

Con: Punctal plugs can come out.

On occasion, punctal plugs can come out on their own. If this happens, the only change you might notice is that your eyes start feeling dry again. Your eye doctor can put new ones in place, but this is still an annoyance to be aware of.

So, should you get punctal plugs to ease your dry eye? Hopefully, the information above has given you a better idea of how to answer that question yourself.

Contact your eye doctor to learn more about available dry eye treatments


25 March 2022

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.