Everything You Need to Know About Punctal Plugs4:50 PM
We've been talking a lot about Dry Eye Syndrome and its causes and treatments, so I thought it was about time to address punctal plugs! When my patients can't get relief from their dryness symptoms with artificial tear drops, I always suggest we try either Restasis or punctal plugs as our next option. Restasis is a prescription drop that improves production of the patient's own tears. There are some drawbacks however.
- expensive; most insurances have high copays
- time consuming; it is dosed twice a day every single day, potentially forever
- takes time to work; in some cases it can be as long as 3 to 6 months before the drop reaches optimum performance
|Collagen plugs insert fully into the puncta and are not visible to the patient. I use Eaglevision Durasert plugs most frequently of this type.|
|Permanent plugs: I find that the Parasol plugs are very easy to insert and remove. Oasis is also a very nice brand.|
When Should Plugs Start Working?
This depends on how dry your eyes were prior to plug installation. You have to give your eye time to heal -- and dry eye can be ongoing for years before some patients seek treatment, so we are trying to reverse years of damage. On average, I expect patients to be feeling significant improvement if plugs are going to be effective treatment in 1 month, but it could be much faster for milder cases. I have had patients note improvement as quickly as within a week!