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Courtesy of The American Academy of Ophthalmology

The most frequent problem I see is ocular surface disease or dry eyes. The term "dry eye" refers to a wide spectrum of ocular conditions. The most common symptoms are dry, red, gritty, and even watery eyes. It often feels as though there is something foreign on your eye.  Anyone can have it but it is almost universal in middle-aged and older females. Some medications can also cause dry eyes.  It can be treated with OTC lubricant drops, Restasis (Rx), and small punctal plugs that help keep the tears from draining away.

Punctal plugs can often almost instantly make a persons his eyes feel much more comfortable.  The plugs prevent the tears from draining away so the eye is not so dry.  It is a simple pain-free procedure that takes only minutes.  In most cases temporary punctal plugs are inserted first. These plugs are made of an organic material which will eventually dissolve and disappear.  They can provide relief for a few days to a week and then disappear. If the patient notes improvement for a few days with the temporary plugs followed by a aggravation of the condition, silicone plugs can be inserted.  Silicone plugs are sometimes referred to as permanent plugs but they sometimes pop-out and need to be replaced.

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