• Can a six-month dissolvable punctal plug be removed or pushed down the tear duct to insert a permanent punctal plug?


    Question:

    Can a six-month dissolvable punctal plug be removed or pushed down the tear duct to insert a permanent punctal plug? I want to replace my collagen dissolvable punctal plug with a permanent punctal plug without having to wait six months for it to dissolve.


    Answer:

    There are different types of punctal plugs, both permanent and dissolvable. Punctal plugs are used to treat dry eye. They work by “plugging” the tear duct and allow your eyes to retain more of their natural tears. Some sit at the opening of the tear duct, called the punctum, while others sit inside the duct in an area called the canaliculus.

    The plugs in the punctum can easily be removed in the office with a small forceps and the intracanalicular plugs can be removed by flushing into the nose via saline irrigation. Talk with your ophthalmologist about the best way to remove your plug(s).


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