Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which either the tear producing gland of the eye, the lacrimal gland, isn’t producing enough tears, or the tear quality is poor and evaporates too quickly. Symptoms of dry eye include burning, excessive tearing, blurred vision, and a sandy, gritty feeling of the eyes. A common solution is the use of punctal plugs. The puncta is a small opening on the inner (nearest to the nose) portion of the lid. This opening allows for drainage of the tears from the eye into the nasal passages. A punctal plug is made of silicon and is inserted into the opening to block the drainage of tears to keep the eye lubricated. Usually a temporary collagen plug is inserted first. This plug dissolves after about a week, but gives the person an idea of whether it helps relieve their dry eyes. If successful, the more permanent silicone plug is inserted.
Punctal plug isertion, a quick, painless procedure, is performed by optometrists or opthalmologists in their office and is a common treatment option for dry eye syndrome. For more information on dry eye syndrome or for all your eye care needs, Dr. Carney is available by appointment at Welch/Wallace Laser Center by calling (318) 448-0221.