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Punctal plugs for dry eyes

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Has anybody had to use punctal plugs for dry eyes during or post treatment? Or does anyone know someone who has used them for dry eye?

What is the longest it has taken anybody's dry eye condition to clear up after taking accutane?

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I began experiencing dry eyes approximately 4 years ago, and no drops or ointments seemed to help, so I went to an ophthalmologist who suggested that I try punctal plugs. I figured why not, so I had temporary plugs put in initially to see if it would actually help. The temporary plugs are made of collagen and will dissolve within a week or so. This might be an option for you if you would just like to see if it would help your dry eyes. I thought they had helped me with the dryness, so I had the permanent plugs put in. They lasted about a year and a half (one of them fell out, and I was able to easily pull the other one out). I didn't have them replaced immediately, as the dryness didn't bother me as much as it had before. About a year ago, the dryness seemed to be returning, so I had them put in again, but this time, it didn't seem to help much. Eventually, I did have a more extensive work-up at the ophthalmologist's office, and they did a Schirmer's test. This is a test that will measure your tear production. It is a bit painful, as you need to hold a strip of paper in each eye for a couple minutes, but it is nothing you probably can't handle. My results were normal, so my tear production was not the problem. When the opthamologist squeezed the bottom lid to check the Meiobian glands (the oil-secreting glands of the eye), he found that they were not expressing/producing as much oil as they should. Your eyes are kept moist and lubricated by your tears, but the oily substance secreted by the Meiobian glands creates a thin layer of oil that keeps the tears from evaporating. So, in my case, my tear production was normal, but the tears would evaporate too quickly. Now, I give you this whole history because I think it might be important for you to figure out what the cause of the dryness is. Granted, there is probably no harm in having plugs put in your eyes, but, if your problem stems from insufficient oil production or blockage of the Meiobian ducts (as it was in my case), the plugs may not help you as much as you would like. I must also say that I am not a doctor, and whatever you choose to do should be based upon a professional opinion. I am just giving my impressions based upon what I have experienced and what I know. Now, after giving that disclaimer, I would hazard to guess (and I could be wrong) that since Accutane attacks the sebaceous (oil-secreting) glands, your dry eyes could be a result of decreased oil production of the Meiobian glands, in which case, you might not benefit from punctal plugs. But, again, I am not here to diagnose you or recommend treatment. That is up to your ophthalmologist. I just wanted to offer some advice that you might want to discuss with someone more knowledgeable i.e. an ophthalmologist. In the meantime, you might try an eye drop called Systane. It works very well for me since it is oilier and helps to prevent rapid tear evaporation. It is available over the counter and is the only eye drop I have tried that has really helped (at least for me). Everyone is different, but I give Systane a high recommendation based on my results. You might even be able to score some free samples from an ophthalmologist. . .

In any case, I hope this was helpful to you. I saw that nobody had responded to your post initially, which isn't surprising since not too many people know what punctal plugs are. But I figured since I had experience with them, I might as well write. As a side note, I was on Accutane for 1 week - my hair started falling out, so I decided to go at it again with the oral antiobiotics one more time to try to avoid the Accutane. I was not on the Accutane long enough to develop dry eyes, but that was one of my concerns, seeing as this was a pre-existing condition for me.

Best of luck to you -

- C.

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Guest jollajolla

Once the plugs were in, I noticed that my eyes felt like there was a little grain of sand scraping across the surface of my cornea. I looked in the mirror when I got home and my eyes were all red and spooky looking. I took the little fuckers out myself with tweezers.

Don't get em.

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