Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Punctal Plugs

Today we are going to talk about punctal plugs an how AMAZING they are!

Those of you with Sjögrens Syndrome know all to well about how dry your eyes get. You know that feeling that God played a joke on you and lined the inside of your eyelids with sand paper? He definitely has a sense of humor that guy.

Let me just back up a bit for those of you that have never heard of Sjögrens Syndrome. In most cases when you have an autoimmune disease you have a primary disease (mine is RA) and a secondary disease (mine is Sjögrens). Sjögrens is actually when your immune system attacks the moisture producing glands in your body. Dry mouth and dry eyes are the main complaint. You will always see me with a drink, or gum, or candy because otherwise I might as well be sucking on cotton balls. For more information on Sjögrens you can click here or click on the link to the right.

So back to these plugs. My eyes are soooo dry. I can never wear contacts. Even the great new moisture ones they come out with. Those just stick to my eyes and I have to pry them off. I know bad visual. Made me squeamish. So my optometrist suggested these plugs. The picture below is not the actual size! Can you imagine?
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They insert these tiny little rice looking things in your tear ducts so the tears won't drain from your eyes. Keeping them nice and wet and moisturized. See below. That's where they go.

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It doesn't hurt. You don't feel a thing. You don't see a thing either. The first time he put them in I was nervous because I just pictured him coming at my eye ball with this plug and tweezers and next thing I know panic attack because who the hell let's anyone come at their eye with a sharp object? Honestly when he's about 2 inches away and closer you see nothing. Ahhhh panic gone! Dry eyes gone.

This used simultaneously with Restasis works magic. Just a side note: Restasis did not work for me without these plugs. If these drops never worked for you, you might want to try them again once you get the plugs. The plugs come in 30 day temporary dissoluble ones so you can take a test drive. Then you can go back and get the 6 month plugs. Whatever you do don't rub your eyes with these in because they could fall out.

I highly recommend these. Unfortunately most insurances don't cover these. They run about $150 a pair. That might have included my office visit too. They are worth every penny! I wanna add also I have 2 full bottles of natural tears that I have not needed to use in 3 months! hmmmm jealous much?

photo credits
http://www.ophmanagement.com
** http://moodyeyes.net

2 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you have some relief......nice to know and thanks for sharing :))) I can finally post!!!!! Had issues with Blogger for months but all fixed!!!! Thanks for all you do!!!!!

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  2. I am so happy to hear that the plugs worked for you. Several years back when I was in a back time with the dry eyes, I was given this option. I decided to wait it out. Fortunately after many months the dry eye and all went to the wayside (thank heavens). But it is good to know in case I go through another rough time with the dry eyes/mouth etc. Ironically I had the worst of it while on methotrexate and not sure if that med had something to do with it all. Since I stopped it and about a year later, it all went pretty much away..well it is somewhat manageable now. The Restasis made my eyes itch too much.

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