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A Highly Successful Way to Manage Dry Eye Symptoms

Punctal plugs are tiny silicone plugs that close the tiny opening of the inner corner of the eyes. The plugs are inserted directly into the upper and lower tear ducts. They work as a closure that helps to conserve both natural and artificial tears, making it easier to avoid relying on eyedrops throughout the day. This alleviates dryness or irritation.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is commonly caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). It is a disorder of the tear film that generally develops because one of two reasons: either the tears are evaporating too quickly, or the eye is not producing enough tears. Both of these reasons cause damage to the ocular surface and are associated with symptoms of ocular discomfort and visual disturbance. 

How Punctal Plugs Relieve Dry Eye

Punctal plugs work by blocking the tear drainage channel, which is located in the inner corner of the eye and allows the moisture to remain in the eye for a longer period of time.

This benefits those who suffer from serious dry eye conditions and is known to have a high success rate compared to other treatments that are available. This low-cost option is an effective way of managing dry eye syndrome. Although the plugs are not painful to have inserted, patients may feel a bit of resistance before the plugs naturally pop into place. Many patients report the plugs are comfortable once they are properly inserted.

How are Punctal Plugs Inserted into the Tear Ducts?

Punctal plugs can be inserted into the puncta of the lower lids, the upper lids, or both. After measuring the size of your specific tear ducts, Dr. Kelly will select the right size of plugs for you. He will measure your tear ducts either by examining your eyes with a light, or by using a special tool. You may be given anesthetic eyedrops before the procedure. Sometimes the tear duct opening is dilated for easier insertion. Patients are typically able to drive themselves home and go back to their regular day after punctal plug insertion. 

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Possible Side Effects and Issues

  • Displacement or loss of the plug 
  • Excessive tearing and watery eyes
  • Eye infections (rare)
  • Canaliculitis (a rare reaction that may cause swelling and discharge from the tear duct) 
  • Migration more deeply into the eye’s drainage channels (very rare)

If for any reason you need the punctal plugs to be removed, either forceps or flushing with a saline solution will be used.

“After doing a lot of research on many different doctors, I decided that I would trust Dr. Kelly with my eyes. I couldn't be happier with my results. I would 100% recommend this place to everyone out there…Never have I seen such a kind and patient staff anywhere. Please go to Kelly Vision Center!” 


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