Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Punctal Plugs for Dry Eye Treatment- Pros and Cons

Your eye doctor may want to put Punctal plugs in your eyes as a form of dry eye relief.

You may want to be aware of some facts before getting them put into your eyes.

What are Punctal Plugs?

Punctal plugs are designed to plug up the tear ducts to stop the drainage of tears into your sinus.  Punctal plugs are often used for people who do not respond to eye drops.

Tear ducts function by providing drainage for debris and bacteria to drain and clean the eye.

There are two types of punctal plugs
1. Temporary- dissolves by itself in 5-7 days.  Good for a test run to see if it works.  If it is effective, relief should be instant.

2. Permanent -

3.  Cauterization of tear ducts- done surgically for people who are allergic to punctal plug materials for tear duct badly damaged.  This process is irreversible.

Tear ducts function by providing drainage for debris and bacteria to drain and clean the eye.

Possible outcomes by of punctal plugs:

Punctal plugs work well for people who has enough tears to be shored up.  For those whose Schirmer's test is less than 5mm- there may not be enough tears to shore up.  Punctal plugs are then not effective.

1. When the tear ducts are plugged, the accumulation of bacteria and dirt increase the chances for eye infections

2. Some people experience irritation, swelling, due to allergic reactions to the punctal plug materials.

3. Punctal plugs can be removed by flushing with saline.

4. Punctal plugs often fall out by themselves.- 50% during the first year.

Why punctal plugs do not always work for chronic dry eye?

For people with severe chronic dry eyes, there are simply not enough tears to shore up, therefore, punctal plugs are not enough!

How does your tear secretion glands work?
There are two important tear secretion glands that need to work simultaneously in order to relief dry eye symptoms.
1. Lacrimal gland which secretes tear volume located at the upper outer corner of your eye lids
2. Meibomian gland which secrete mucin, lipids, and proteins to thicken the tear.

Both glands must function together in order to provide tear with the right thickness (viscosity) and tear volume to provide comfort.

How can TheraLife Eye help?
TheraLife® Eye works by restoring normal cell functions to both lacrimal and meibomian glands.  The result is balanced, sustainable tears from your own eye to provide comfort all day long.   Learn more

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  1. So often people ask if they should have punctal plugs put in for dry eye relief. Learn the facts before the procedure. Determine if they will work for you first. Learn from TheraLife.

  2. Hi there! Glad to drop by your page and found these very interesting and enlightening stuff. Thanks for sharing and keep it up!
    Dry Eye Treatment