Punctal Plugs – The tears drain into the nose via drainage ducts known as Puncta. Through these, your tears, or additional lubricating drops, can escape while your glands are making new ones. In each of your eyes, on the eyelid margin in the corner towards your nose, there is one punctum in the top eyelid and another on the bottom eyelid. About 80% of the tears drain from the lower, 20% from the upper puncta.
Punctal Plugs For Dry Eyes
Punctal Plugs – People with dry eyes don’t have enough tears on the eye, either because they don’t produce enough, or they don’t stay long enough on the eye. Punctal plugs do exactly what they sound like: they stop the drains, just like the plug in your kitchen sink. This allows the tears that you do produce to stay on the eye for a longer time period. This increases comfort and lowers the frequency of artificial tear use in dry eye patients.
The punctual plugs can be inserted in either of the lower or upper eyelids or both. Two types are available; temporary punctual occlusion can be achieved with collagen implants which eventually dissolve after 2 weeks. These are beneficial in ascertaining whether punctal blockage will help reduce dry eye symptoms. Longterm punctal occlusion can then be achieved by using silicone plugs. These are umbrella shaped with the top part of the plug resting on the eyelid surface. Silicone plugs can be removed if necessary or can remain in the eyelid for a prolonged period of time, unless they fall out.