Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Chronically Dry Eyes? Consider Punctal Plugs As A Non-Drug Solution

Health & Medical Blog

Dealing with chronically dry eyes can be painful and frustrating. Your vision gets blurry, your eyes get red, and it's hard to keep from scratching. Lubricated eye drops from the drugstore only do so much. You might be avoiding talking to your eye doctor about this problem because you're not willing to try medications, thanks to the side effects they sometimes cause. But you should know that there is another non-drug option for treating dry eyes. Punctal plugs work well for many patients, and they are a completely drug-free intervention.

What are punctal plugs?

Punctal plugs are little pieces of silicone that are designed to insert into your tear duct. They look like the bristles on a silicone scrub brush.  Made from medical-grade silicone, they are safe for your body. Punctal plugs work by preventing the tear duct from absorbing tears from the surface of your eye so quickly. As a result, the tears remain on your cornea for longer, keeping your eyes from feeling dry.

How do you have punctual plugs inserted?

If you and your eye doctor agree that punctual plugs are a good choice for you, he or she will first look closely at your eyes and take some measurements to decide which size punctual plugs you need. Then, you may be given anesthetic eye drops. These will numb your eyes so you cannot feel a thing as the eye doctor uses a little tweezer-like device to insert the plugs into your tear ducts. There are no needles or cuts involved. If you only need small punctual plugs, your eye doctor may not even need to administer the anesthesia. You may feel a strange pinching or tugging sensation as the plugs are slid into place, but there should be no serious pain.

What do the plugs feel like?

Some patients don't feel anything once the plugs are in place. They just notice that their eyes are no longer dry, and that's the end of the story! Other patients feel a "full" sensation in the inner corners of their eyes at first. However, this sensation will subside within a few days once your body adapts to the plugs.

How long do punctual plugs last?

Sometimes the plugs work themselves loose. You may not notice this until you notice that your eyes feel dryer. If this happens, your eye doctor will just slide a new plug into place. Other than this, the plug can last indefinitely. Your eye doctor will check up on them at your annual appointment. If they seem like they're beginning to come dislodged, he or she may replace them.

Talk to your doctor, someone from a place like Country Hills Eye Center, for more information. 


26 October 2016