Punctal plugs are used to treat dry eyes (sicca). People with dry eyes should use eye drops regularly to keep the eyes moist enough. An form of treatment for this is the placement of punctal plugs. These ensure that the tears remain longer in the eye, so there is less discomfort from dry eyes. You will still need to do some some eye drops on the side.
You will be given a drop of anesthetic fluid in both eyes. Then the ophthalmologist places a small soluble rod in the drain of the lacrimal duct. You will feel hardly anything of this. The rod slowly dissolves and will have disappeared after about 6 months. Afterwards, a new, possibly different type of plug can be placed.
You can view a short video of placement of a soluble ultra plug here.
We mainly place soluble plugs. These remain in place a long time and do not cause any irritation to the eye.
Non-soluble silicone plugs are placed as an alternative. However, these can fall out of the eye at any time, and in rare cases they irritate the eye so they have to be removed again.
Below you can view commercials from punctal plugs manufacturers that also give an impression of the treatment:
For more information on dry eyes: visit the webpage dry eyes under the header “Conditions”.