Advantages of Punctal Occlusion for Chronic Dry Eye Relief

Suffering from dry eye? It’s no small matter. While dry eye can mean to some just a little discomfort, it can actually be the precursor to more serious medical issues that may require a Punctal Occlusion for relief — if the condition is severe enough: issues like corneal infection or scarring.

If you’re suffering from dry eye and the conditions aren’t going away by themselves, then you need to get it treated.


To understand what punctal occlusion is, first you have to understand the pathology of dry eye.

To put it in layman’s terms: dry eye occurs because the tears that normally lubricate your eye drain too fast.

Drainage holes called lacrimal punctum take in the tears, which then go through drainage tubes which are commonly referred to as tear ducts.

Punctal occlusion, in somewhat crude terms, plugs up the drainage holes (the lacrimal punctum). These inserts are biocompatible, about .5 mm in diameter, and made up of either collagen or silicone.

The collagen plugs which dissolve are meant for trial runs, to see if the plugs help the patient’s dry eye.

If punctal occlusion is successful, the patient switches to silicone plugs, which are more permanent.

Patients can choose between surface level plugs and intracanalicular plugs.


If your dry eye isn’t resolving itself, then you might be a good candidate for punctal occlusion. Of course, before a patient is treated with punctal occlusion, cases of ocular surface inflammation have to be treated.

Ocular surface inflammation is common with dry eye. Thus, treating chronic dry eye can be a somewhat complex process, where different aspects of treatment have to work together.

Punctal occlusion is sometimes preceded by anti-inflammatory therapy, using a dry eye treatment such as Lotemax.

For more information on Punctal Occlusion or other eye procedures including Blepharoplasty and Lacrimal System treatments, call (571) 203-1300


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