What are some good alternatives to Punctal Plugs for treating dry eyes after LASIK?
I have been recommended the use of Punctal Plugs to treat my dry eyes after LASIK. However, I understand that they can be easily displaced when I rub my eyes (and I am prone to that). Are there any effective, long term alternate solutions to treating my dry eyes?
First off, punctal plugs are generally not easily displaced, even with eye rubbing. This is especially true of the temporary types, which are inserted completely into the tear drainage channels. Secondly, it is advisable not to rub your eyes, whether or not you have had LASIK. Rubbing can potentially cause several problems, depending on how hard you do it.
The most basic way of treating dry eyes is to use artificial tears. As such, one alternative to punctal plugs is to simply use eyedrops more often or to use thicker kinds of eyedrops/preparations which will last longer on the eye.
Some other methods that have been used to treat dry eyes (with or without LASIK) include Cyclosporine eyedrops (Restasis or Ikervis) and Omega 3 supplements. The effects of these methods are variable/unpredictable and often take a while to show themselves. Still, they can be used as ‘adjuncts’ ie as methods that help the main treatment of using artificial tear drops.
If a person has tried punctal plugs before and found that they work well to reduce the dry eye problem, a permanent way to close the tear drainage channels called punctal cautery can be used with very good effect.