A Closer Look at Punctal Plugs8:46 PM
Punctal plugs are a concept that sounds quite scary when presented to a patient for the first time, but could have a number of benefits for multiple ocular conditions. A new article by Review of Optometry features all of the unsung potential uses for plugs. For a treatment once thought out of date due to the advent of Restasis, more and more doctors are returning to plugs for helping their patients achieve relief from dry eye. Now we are finding new applications for this quick and painless procedure!
|Properly inserted permanent plug|
We recently discussed punctal plugs and their benefits for patients with dry eye, and Dry Eye Syndrome is still the most popular use for these devices. Punctal plugs prevent rapid drainage of your own tears through your nasolacrimal tear duct, keeping a healthy layer of tear film on the eye for a longer time. I especially prefer plugs on patients where there is minimal to no meibomian gland dysfunction and:
- Contact Lens Wearers with poor comfort due to dryness
- filamentary keratitis from advanced dry eye
- pre or post-op LASIK --- a healthy tear film will improve comfort and post-LASIK visual outcome!
- Glaucoma, using topical eye drops to increase the contact time of the drop
- bacterial corneal ulcers to increase the amount of antibiotic on the surface of the eye
- corneal dystrophies or recurrent corneal erosion to keep the eye lubricated
- history of herpetic infections to protect the eye from dryness or other ocular stressors that could reactivate the virus