A punctal plug is a small device that is inserted into the opening of the tear duct in order to block the duct and prevent tears from draining into the nose. The desired result is to keep the tears in the eye for a longer period of time.
There are two types of punctal plugs: absorbable and removable. Absorbable punctal plugs last from three days to six months. Removable punctal plugs are for longer-term use in patients with severe symptoms.
Permanent punctal closure may be an option for people who have shown Dry Eye improvement with punctal plugs or for those who have severe Dry Eye with little chance of regaining a normal level of tear secretion by more traditional methods. This is a simple reversible procedure that closes the tear ducts to allow tears to pool and provide moisture to the eyes. You may want to discuss treating the underlying information first with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
The conjunctiva is the thin, protective mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids. Conjunctival procedures, such as transplants and grafts, are performed to restore damaged eye surfaces.
- The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society. 2007 Report of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS). Special Issue. The Ocular Surface 2007;5(2):67–204.
- Jackson WB. Management of dysfunctional tear syndrome. Can J Ophthalmol. 2009;44(4):385–394.