Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition where your eyes frequently become dry due to decreased or abnormal tear production. Dry eyes can be caused by many things, including aging, hormonal changes, medications, contact lens wear, and seasonal or environmental changes.
Over the counter lubricant drops help by adding moisture to the surface of the eye. However, eye drops provide only short-lived, temporary relief for dry eyes. Patients with chronic dry eye will typically benefit more from longer lasting treatment options.
For longer lasting relief, Punctal Plugs are a great choice. You have tiny openings in the corners of your upper and lower eyelids by your nose, called Puncta. This is where your tears drain and leave your eyes. A tiny Punctal Plug can be inserted into this drain, which causes less tears to drain out of your eyes. Thus, your eyes retain more tears throughout the day. This safe and painless procedure is easily performed in the office in less than 5 minutes. Typically, a 2-week temporary dissolvable plug is inserted first for the patient to try. Next, a 6-month dissolvable plug can be inserted to provide long lasting dry eye relief.
Sometimes dry eyes are cause by blockages in the glands that produce the oil portion of your tears, called Meibomian Glands. When these glands get clogged, your tears don’t have enough oil in them. This causes your tears to evaporate very quickly. If your Meibomian Glands are clogged, your doctor can easily and painlessly unclog (express) them in the office.