To Plug or Not to Plug….

Definitely….. to Plug!!  There is no question!

I had my annual eye exam today.  Unfortunately…. I suffer from dry eye.  Which means that I am constantly using lubricating drops in my eye.  Some of you may have seen me pull them out and use them in your presence.  I keep them close to my heart.  Literally.  They are warmer that way!  Plus…. I don’t have to go looking for them!

I’ve been frustrated with my vision lately.  I had Lasik done on one eye about 4 years ago.  We corrected my right eye for distance and then decided to leave my left eye alone for close vision.  At the time, my close up vision was still OK.  Borderline on needing readers… but OK.  Well…. in 4 years time, my right eye has lost a little of the clearness.  Most of that due to battling dry eye.

A few months after having Lasik surgery, the doctor determined that my eyes were dry and recommended that we put silicone plugs in my tear ducts to help with the dryness.  I know, I know…. I thought the same thing!  I always that tears were formed in your tear ducts!  Now why on earth would I want to plug that up if my eyes were dry, right?   Well…. I learned that your tear ducts are actually for draining tears, not making them.  Well, then!  That made a lot more sense!  So…. we put plugs in my tear ducts on my lower lids.  Yes…. we did both eyes, even though I only had surgery on one eye….  both eyes were dry.

I think within that first year, I was having trouble again with my eyes feeling dry.  If you’ve never experienced dry eye before…. it feels a lot like you have grains of very fine sand in your eye.   Not fun.  The lower lid plugs were still in place (unfortunately they can fall out sometimes!)  so the doctor suggested we put plugs in the upper lids too.  Yep!  That’s right!   You have tear ducts in your upper lid too!  Who knew?  Once we put those in place…. things improved immensely.

Along the way, I would start to feel like an eye was dry and go to the doctor to check it out.  I think I’ve had the plugs replaced at least once in each tear duct.  They are very very very tiny….. and they are very very very expensive!  Considering their size, they are enormously expensive!  However….. for the relief it gives me from dry eye….. they are worth it!

As I mentioned earlier….. my vision has been bothering me lately.  I felt like my distance eye was getting worse, and I was having more and more trouble reading up close.  I figured that I was going to end up with a stronger prescription for eyeglasses than what I already had.  ‘Wait a minute’, you are saying to yourself …. ‘didn’t you say you had Lasik?’  Yes…. I did.  But since we only corrected one eye for distance, I had the doctor give me a prescription so that it would correct the other eye for distance too.  It seemed like it was a good idea for driving and such…. particularly at night.   It also made watching a movie or seeing a theater production much clearer.  So, I was kind of expecting a stronger prescription today, but guess what?  It was those silly plugs again!  I should have guessed it!  I was missing one plug in each eye.  The doctor felt like it was only necessary to replace the one in my right eye, since that eye is dryer and it’s also my distance eye.

So, then the question was…. to plug or not to plug?  Actually….. it really wasn’t even a question for me.  It was a no brainer.  I’ve been through it too many times to know that it makes a BIG difference!  And of course, it did!  I’ve been seeing so much better all day long!  My eye has been much moister and the vision is markedly improved.  If only I’d gone to the doctor months ago like I was going to!!

I’m grateful for tear duct plugs.  I’m grateful that they improve my vision and comfort from dry eye so much.  I’m grateful that it’s a quick painless procedure and can make such a difference in a matter of minutes!   Thanks to Dr. Davis for ‘plugging’ me up!

I am Grateful!  How are you?


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