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Plugs in the Tear Ducts

This is a discussion on Plugs in the Tear Ducts within the General Eye Health forums; I've been reading about people who get dry eyes with contacts lenses. One of the ...


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-17-2007, 03:37 PM
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Default Plugs in the Tear Ducts

I've been reading about people who get dry eyes with contacts lenses. One of the solutions I see proposed from time to time are some kind of "plug" that goes into the tear ducts. What are these plugs made of and how are they put into the tear ducts? Are they permanent?
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:09 PM
VAB VAB is offline
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The plugs you refer to are called "punctal plugs." These are usually made of silicone and are used to block the "puncta" (singular "punctum") or drainage ducts in the corner of each eye. These plugs keep the tears from draining so quickly from the surface of the eye and keep them moist. The are inserted in your doctor's office in a quick and painless procedure.
Briefly, drops are put in your eyes to numb them, the doctor will then use what look like very long, thin tweezers to gently open the puncta, then to insert the plugs. Once they're in, they may be a little uncomfortable at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to them. If your condition improves later the plugs can be removed.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAB View Post
The plugs you refer to are called "punctal plugs." These are usually made of silicone and are used to block the "puncta" (singular "punctum") or drainage ducts in the corner of each eye. These plugs keep the tears from draining so quickly from the surface of the eye and keep them moist. The are inserted in your doctor's office in a quick and painless procedure.
Briefly, drops are put in your eyes to numb them, the doctor will then use what look like very long, thin tweezers to gently open the puncta, then to insert the plugs. Once they're in, they may be a little uncomfortable at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to them. If your condition improves later the plugs can be removed.
That seems like a lot to go through to keep your eyes moist. I'm guessing that this procedure is pretty effective in keeping the eyes from drying out. Am I right?
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Old 07-13-2010, 09:50 AM
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Default The Effectiveness of Punctal Plugs

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Originally Posted by Logopolis View Post
That seems like a lot to go through to keep your eyes moist. I'm guessing that this procedure is pretty effective in keeping the eyes from drying out. Am I right?
It better be!

Seriously, I did a little research and there's a lot of articles on line dealing with punctal plugs and their effectiveness, but I was hoping to find some numbers like "patients' dry eye symptoms were relieves in 83 percent of the people studied," but I didn't find anything like that. The best I can do is to say that according to what I've read, punctal plugs seem to work pretty well most of them time.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:00 AM
VAB VAB is offline
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Default Close Enough

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Originally Posted by Orionebula View Post
It better be!

Seriously, I did a little research and there's a lot of articles on line dealing with punctal plugs and their effectiveness, but I was hoping to find some numbers like "patients' dry eye symptoms were relieves in 83 percent of the people studied," but I didn't find anything like that. The best I can do is to say that according to what I've read, punctal plugs seem to work pretty well most of them time.
Thanks for doing the research Orion. It's good to know that these plugs work most of the time, even if we don't know that it's exactly 83.6% or something.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:58 PM
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Default Close Enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAB View Post
Thanks for doing the research Orion. It's good to know that these plugs work most of the time, even if we don't know that it's exactly 83.6% or something.
For the purposes of this forum, "most of the time" is good enough for me.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:22 PM
VAB VAB is offline
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Default Does it Hurt?

I found that article already that explained how punctal plugs work, but I didn't see anything about how comfortable they are. Do they hurt going in? Do you have the option of some kind of anesthetic--right next to your eye?
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:26 PM
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Default Punctal Plugs 101

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAB View Post
I found that article already that explained how punctal plugs work, but I didn't see anything about how comfortable they are. Do they hurt going in? Do you have the option of some kind of anesthetic--right next to your eye?
I found a website that gives step by step instructions. That sounds a little dangerous until you imagine trying to convince someone that you read an article on line and now you want to give it a whack.
Okay, here's the relevant bit:

"Anaesthetise the region. This is most easily carried out by instilling one drop of Benoxinate Hydrochloride 0.4% or other topical anaesthetic into the conjunctival sac and waiting for the drug to drain via the puncta. Alternatively, a cotton-wool tipped applicator soaked in anaesthetic may be held for 30 seconds against the punctum."

Please excuse the weird British spelling of "anesthetic."
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:42 PM
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Default Good Stuff

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionebula View Post
I found a website that gives step by step instructions. That sounds a little dangerous until you imagine trying to convince someone that you read an article on line and now you want to give it a whack.
Okay, here's the relevant bit:

"Anaesthetise the region. This is most easily carried out by instilling one drop of Benoxinate Hydrochloride 0.4% or other topical anaesthetic into the conjunctival sac and waiting for the drug to drain via the puncta. Alternatively, a cotton-wool tipped applicator soaked in anaesthetic may be held for 30 seconds against the punctum."

Please excuse the weird British spelling of "anesthetic."
Ah yes. Good ol' Benoxinate Hydrochloride.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:36 PM
VAB VAB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logopolis View Post
Ah yes. Good ol' Benoxinate Hydrochloride.
So a little Benox on the puncta and you're good to go, right?
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionebula View Post
I found a website that gives step by step instructions. That sounds a little dangerous until you imagine trying to convince someone that you read an article on line and now you want to give it a whack.
Okay, here's the relevant bit:

"Anaesthetise the region. This is most easily carried out by instilling one drop of Benoxinate Hydrochloride 0.4% or other topical anaesthetic into the conjunctival sac and waiting for the drug to drain via the puncta. Alternatively, a cotton-wool tipped applicator soaked in anaesthetic may be held for 30 seconds against the punctum."

Please excuse the weird British spelling of "anesthetic."
Yeah, I was just about to comment on how British that article sounded. The way they spell "anesthetic," and their use of "cotton wool."
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionebula View Post
Please excuse the weird British spelling of "anesthetic."
Why apologise for correct spelling? :-)
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:09 PM
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Default Which Side of the Atlantic?

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Originally Posted by Timbo59 View Post
Why apologise for correct spelling? :-)
I guess that would depend on were you're standing, Timbo59.

By the way, from where I'm standing, "apologize" is spelled with a "z." Spell Check even agrees with me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbo59 View Post
Why apologise for correct spelling? :-)
Oh, so another word for "weird British" is "correct?"
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orionebula View Post
Oh, so another word for "weird British" is "correct?"
She's wearing a British flag dress, but I wouldn't call her "weird." I'd have to get to know her first.

Say, Saturday night at Voilą le fromage?
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:42 PM
VAB VAB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logopolis View Post
She's wearing a British flag dress, but I wouldn't call her "weird." I'd have to get to know her first.

Say, Saturday night at Voilą le fromage?
Be sure to let us know how that works out, Logopolis.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-20-2012, 03:43 PM
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anybody did this to themselves?;-)
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:00 PM
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As far as the punctual plugs go, in our office we insert a collagen plug that lasts about 10 days to see how you do. If the work well, we will insert a permanent silicone plug. Typically we start in the lower ducts and if necessary go to the top. There are certain conditions that adding to the wetness doesn't help. Mgd is likely one of them. The tear needs all 3 layers to work properly and if there is a lack of mucin or water the plugs tend to help. With a lack of oil from the memobemen(sp) gland, the plugs can exacerbate the symptoms. Let your doc guide you on these issues.
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