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What are punctal plugs?… and how do they help dry eyes?

Dry eye syndrome can be a complex and annoying issue for many patients. Many people who suffer from dry eye have tried many different options to treat their symptoms. Symptoms are created by a wide range of problems leading to an imbalance in the quality of the tears, or the lack of quantity. One of the treatments for dry eyes are the use of punctal plugs. Punctual plugs are a reversible device that gets inserted into the punctum of the eye, basically blocking the uptake of tears in the eye. There are different types of punctal plugs that can be used such as collagen plugs that will dissolve after a few months, to more permanent plugs like smart plugs that dissolve into the punctum or those made of silicone. The benefit of punctal plugs is that they can be removed if needed, they are not irreversible like cautery or laser treatments. Insertion of punctum plugs has been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for dry eye.

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