Punctal plugs are most often used as a treatment for chronic dry eye. These tiny silicone or gel plugs are inserted directly into the tear ducts, whether upper, lower, or both, in an effort to stop tear draining. This allows any natural tears and added artificial tears to remain in the eyes, keeping the eyes moist.
This procedure is performed within the office and, due to the non-invasive nature of the procedure, anesthetics are rarely necessary.
Some patients may experience a slight initial discomfort during the insertion itself, but you should not feel the punctal plug when it is in place. Patients can resume normal activities immediately following the procedure.
Though plugs can remain in the eye indefinitely, it may not always be necessary. The plugs can be just as easily removed as they were inserted, again with no recovery necessary.
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