Punctal plugs are biocompatible devices that are inserted into a patient’s tear ducts and block any liquid from draining out. The increased moisture in the eye combats the symptoms of dry eye. Punctal plugs are tiny and unnoticeable after the first slight initial discomfort.
There are two types: semi-permanent and dissolvable. Semi-permanent plugs are made of silicone, a longer-lasting material, and dissolvable plugs are made of collagen.
Dissolvable plugs are normally used after an eye surgery, like LASIK, to prevent dry eye. One may use dissolvable plugs to see if they work well for them, and then move onto semi-permanent plugs.
Sometimes a doctor will use an anesthetic to insert the plug, but sometimes it is unnecessary.