Role of punctal plugs as a primarily treatment modality in moderate to severe dry eye
Background: In dry eye syndrome tear film disrupts which lead to ocular discomfort. Treatment of dry eye is very challenging and time consuming. Multiple treatment options are available for treating dry eye and one of them is punctal plugs. It blocks the drainage of tear by occluding puncta which helps in the preservation of natural tears on the ocular surface and relieve dry eye symptoms. This study was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of punctal plugs as a primary treatment modality in moderate to severe dry eye.
Methods: Fifty patients were included in this study and they were divided into two groups. In group A which included 25 patients punctal plugs were inserted and in group B (25 patients or 50 eyes) artificial tear drop was prescribed. The primary treatment outcome was the improvement in dry eye symptoms and secondary outcome was Schirmer test score, tear break up time and rose bengal staining score.
Results: There was drastic improvement in dry eye symptoms in group A (punctal plugs) compared to group B (artificial tear group). Schirmer test score, tear break up and rose bengal staining score also improved in punctal plug group.
Conclusions: This study has shown that punctal plug can be used as a primary treatment modality in moderate to severe dry eye as it improves greater symptomatic relief and also improves the condition of damaged ocular surface.
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