Many people have never heard of punctal plugs because they treat a specific problem. So, if you need to brush up on what they do, it’s important to seek accurate information. Most individuals will probably have a slew of questions to ask about this treatment. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about punctal plugs.
What Are Punctal Plugs?
Punctal plugs are tiny devices that an ophthalmologist places into the tear ducts. They are also known as tear duct plugs or lacrimal plugs. These small plugs treat dry eyes by blocking drainage into the tear ducts. The goal of this process is to help natural and artificial tears moisten the eyes for longer periods. Usually, doctors will place the punctal plugs in the lower tear ducts, although they may choose both lower and upper ducts if a patient’s dry eye problems are severe.
The Procedure for Punctal Plugs
The procedure for placing punctal plugs is quick. In fact, the process usually only takes about 10 minutes for a doctor to perform. First, the doctor will put numbing drops into the eye to prevent discomfort during the following steps. Next, they’ll place a dilator to widen the puncta (or tear duct). After that, they’ll insert the punctal plugs. The ophthalmologist must insert temporary plugs further into the puncta. However, they put permanent plugs near the lid. A person may experience some discomfort for about a day after the procedure, which will diminish in the following days.
Benefits of Punctal Plugs
The overall benefit of punctal plugs is that they fight dry eye symptoms. These plugs help lubricate the eyes by making your natural tear production last longer. This procedure usually has a quick turnaround time, too; punctal plugs may start improving dry eye symptoms in as little as a week. On top of that, the procedure is quick and relatively painless, and a person with them won’t even know they’re there after a few days.
Initially, you may have been unfamiliar with punctal plugs. Hopefully, this guide on everything you need to know about punctal plugs has helped shine some light on the subject and eased your worries about the procedure. For all your questions on eye care tools, including tonopen covers, look to Automated Opthalmics, Inc.