|Punctum Plug patient care
You have had a small silicone rubber plug inserted into one or more puncta of your eyelids. This was done to treat your dry eye problem. The plugs are made of soft flexible silicone rubber similar to that used to make soft silicone contact lenses. As explained to you by your doctor, the puncta are the small opening in the edges of your lids through which tears flow out of your eyes. The soft silicone plugs inserted in your eyelid(s) block these openings and thereby eliminate tear loss by this route. The purpose is to permit more moisture to remain on your eye(s).
Relief of the discomfort of dry eyes is not always noticed immediately following insertion of a plug. However, in most cases some relief is obtained soon after insertion; for others the relief is gradual and is noted as a slow lack of awareness of the eye(s) rather than an immediate stop of all associated discomfort.
You may notice a slight amount of discomfort in the plugged area and tearing for a few days after insertion. If you are concerned, or if any unusual problems arise which seem related to the plug, please contact your doctor.
The plugs can be removed with little or no side effects. Your doctor can do this quite readily. In fact, the ease of plug removal requires that you take special steps to avoid accidentally displacing or losing them. These steps are described in “Patient Care of Punctum Plugs”.
Take particular care not to press on the area containing the plug(s). Keep your fingers from these places.
Patient Care of Punctum Plugs
Solid material, often yellowish in color, normally collects in the corners of your eyes nearest the nose. Daily removal of this debris, sometimes referred to as ‘sleep’, must be done in a special way by wearers of punctum plugs to avoid dislodging the plug(s). Use a clean cotton tipped applicator such as a ‘Q-tip’ with the aid of a mirror to gently remove this material. It may be helpful to moisten the cotton with clean, luke-warm water prior to use. If it is necessary to wear your glasses to see during the cleaning process, you can reach under the edge of your glasses with the applicator while looking in the mirror. Be careful not to rub the surface of your eye with the applicator. If you notice anything unusual with your eyes during this process or at any other time, contact your doctor.
If the plug is lost, it can be replaced with another. Do not attempt to replace a plug that has come out.
If you have unexplainable discomfort of the insertion area long after insertion of the plug, contact your doctor as soon as possible.