Punctal plugs are small medical devices that are inserted into the tear duct of the eye to block the duct. This prevents the drainage of liquid from the eye, increasing the eye’s tear film and surface moisture. Generally there are two types of punctual plugs; Semi-permanent which are typically made out of a long-lasting materials such as silicone and Dissolvable which are made out of a materials such as collagen that the body eventually absorbs.
Two general types of tear duct plugs are:
- Semi-permanent, typically made of long-lasting materials such as silicone.
- Dissolvable, made of materials such as collagen that the body eventually absorbs.
Types of Punctal Plugs
Punctal plugs have many designs and shapes, including:
- Umbrella. These types do not “disappear” into the tear duct, making them easy to spot and remove if necessary.
- Tapered. This design exerts extra force horizontally to help keep the punctal plug in its proper place.
- Hollow. A hollowed interior can help the punctal plug adhere to the shape of the eye’s tear duct.
- Reservoir. This style captures and holds tears, which helps reduce foreign body sensation and increase comfort.
- Slanted or low profile cap. This design can help maintain comfort, while providing extra stability.