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Punctal plugs for dry eyes

Anyone who suffers from dry eyes will know just how uncomfortable the condition can be. Symptoms such as burning, gritty, red eyes are common and vision can be reduced in severe cases.

The primary reason for dry eyes is either poor quality tears, or too few tears being produced.The use of lubricating drops and ointments play an important role in soothing dry eyes. However these do not cure the cause of dry eyes and even frequent use may not resolve the discomfort fully.

How can punctal plugs help?

When there is a lack of tears, a longer-term solution could be punctual plugs.Punctal plugs are inserted into the drainage channel (puncta) on the eyelid, preventing the escape of tears from the surface of the eye. At Cameron Optometry we use absorbable, extended duration punctal plugs. These plugs are composed of materials that gradually dissolve in the drainage channels of the eye, and last up to three months. Some causes of dry eyes are not permanent and one benefit of absorbable punctal plugs is that they need only be replaced as required.

If the temporary plugs are effective, you may, in consultation with the optometrist, wish to try a permanent punctal plug which stays in place indefinitely but can be removed if required. We recommend this type of plug for people who have successfully worn the dissolvable type first.The insertion procedure is quick and comfortable and is performed in the practice. Once the plugs are fitted you are unable to feel them in your eye.

What do punctal plugs cost?

Punctal plugs are one of the many treatments covered by Vision+ membership from £30 per month. For non-Vision+ members, prices start at £105 which includes the optometrists consultation and insertion of three-month absorbable plugs.

Please contact us at the practice if you wish to discuss your suitability for the procedure.

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