Punctal Occlusion – Treatment Options for Chronic Dry Eyes
Offering punctual occlusion treatment for chronic dry eyes in our Las Vegas offices.
Punctal Occlusion is a common treatment used to treat chronic dry eyes. It involves plugging or blocking some of a person’s small tear-draining openings, called puncta, restricting the flow of tears out of the eye and causing them to pool up in the eye longer.
Types of Punctal Occlusion
There are two main types of punctal occlusion: punctal plugs and punctal cautery. Punctal plugs are the more common type of punctal occlusion. Punctal plugs are plugs used to close up a couple of a person’s four puncta so tears do not escape as quickly. Collagen punctal plugs, which eventually dissolve on their own, are usually used first, before silicone plugs are placed. By testing with collagen plugs first, ophthalmologists are able to make sure that the plugs will help solve the person’s dry eye problems before they try more evasive methods.
The other main method of punctal occlusion involves an ophthalmologist surgically and permanently cauterizing a person’s tear ducts closed. This is a permanent solution that while more invasive than punctal plugs, ensures that people who are effectively helped by punctal occlusion have their dry eye problems solved once and for all in a single treatment.
After the Procedure
Patients who have had their tear ducts plugged or cauterized may experience some symptoms after the procedure. Some patients may experience an uncomfortable reaction and experience some soreness. If they can tolerate the discomfort, it usually subsides within a few days.