The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog


Study: Punctal plugs in an empty socket

I thought this was kind of interesting. People without corneas need tears too... I wonder if they get into the "cesspool effect" debate like us.

Favorable effects of lacrimal plugs in patients with an anophthalmic socket.
Vardizer Y, Lang Y, Mourits MP, Briscoe MD.
Orbit. 2007 Dec;26(4):263-6

Background: The use of punctal plugs in the treatment of dry eyes is well established. Anophthalmic patients have less tears in the anophthalmic socket in comparison to their normal side, due to an absent corneal reflex.... Many of those patients complain of dry eye symptoms, even when they are treated with tear replacement therapy. The authors wished to examine whether they could improve their dry socket complaints with punctal plugs.
Purpose: To evaluate the clinical efficacy and tolerability of punctal plug (Smart Plugs(R)) insertion in anophthalmic patients with symptoms of dry eye.
Patients and methods: Interventional case series. Fifteen anophthalmic patients with dry eye symptoms, a Schirmer test of less than 3 mm and an open lacrimal passage were examined before and after insertion of punctal plugs. The patients were asked for their subjective evaluation of the treatment and were examined to evaluate the change. Schirmer tests were compared. Bacterial cultures were taken at both visits.
Results: Schirmer results of less than 3 mm in the anophthalmic socket were obtained in 75% of patients with dry eyes symptoms; 87% of patients in whom punctal plugs were inserted reported an improvement in dry eye sensation. More than half of the patients demonstrated less discharge.... Schirmer tests improved from 1.4 mm to 1.9 mm.... Patients with a Schirmer outcome of 2 mm or more tended to have less pathogenic bacterial cultures....
Conclusion: Punctal plugs improve the symptoms and signs of dry socket. Punctal plugs seem to reduce the pathogenic bacterial growth in the anophthalmic socket.