The eye relies on a constant flow of tears to provide lubrication and moisture for vision and comfort. Tears are secreted by special glands around the eye and when there is an imbalance in the tear flow, dry eyes result. Symptoms may include pain, light sensitivity, a gritty sensation, itching, redness, blurry vision, or a feeling of a foreign body in the eye. Sometimes dry eye causes an excess of tears running down the cheeks (known as “reflex tearing”), which happens when the eye experiences irritation from dry eyes.
Dry eyes can be diagnosed by your eye care specialist and treatments may include drops and ointments, and nutritional supplements such as omega-3 fish oil. Severe dry eye can be treated with punctal plugs in a procedure known as punctal occlusion.
Punctal occlusion is a medical treatment for dry eye that enables your eyes to make better and longer use of the few lubricating tears they do produce. Also known as Punctal Plugs, tiny biocompatible devices are inserted into tear ducts to block drainage. This procedure increases the tear film and moisture to relieve dry eyes. Punctal Plugs can be either temporary or permanent and can be inserted with only slight discomfort. After the procedure, you should be able to drive and resume normal activities. California Eye Professionals eye specialists can give you additional information on this procedure.