A punctal plug is a tiny device used to treat dry eyes in certain patients that have proven eye drops are not sufficient. This device is inserted into the tear duct of an eye to effectively block that duct, thus preventing liquid from draining.
Often a temporary punctal plug is used initially, which is dissolvable, to ensure that a permanent version would not cause the patient to tear excessively. If no problems occur, a permanent plug may then be used. Placement of punctal plug is quick and easy (one minute) and can often produce immediate and dramatic relief of dry eye symptoms. This simple procedure is done in the office and is typically covered by medical insurance.