Who is a candidate for punctal plugs?
The use of punctal plugs can be an effective step in treating moderate to severe dry eye that is unresponsive to artificial tear drops and ointments. The tears drain into the nose via the tear ducts and blocking this outflow is a reasonable strategy to keep the tears in the eye for a longer time. The term ‘puncta’ refers to the opening of the tear ducts on the eyelid margin.
How do punctal plugs work?
Plugs that can be inserted inside the tear ducts to block them are called ‘punctal plugs’. Punctal plugs increase the comfort level and lower the frequency of artificial tear use in most dry eye patients. The decreased artificial tear use may be economically beneficial, considering the high cost of preservative-free artificial tears.
*Picture courtesy of http://www.mayoclinic.org/*