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    How punctal plugs may influence tear osmolarity and aid in dry eye therapies

    By retaining tears on ocular surface, punctual plugs may alleviate dry eye disease

     

    “Punctal plugs help retain tears on the ocular surface to help alleviate dry eye disease,” he said. “However, the study cohort varied in their chronicity and severity of dry eye disease in addition to difference in the therapies used. As a result, the change in different dry eye signs and symptoms is expected to be different across the study subjects.”

    Tear osmolarity may be a leading indicator of therapy efficacy in DED with punctal plug insertion. Thirteen of the 28 patients had reduced osmolarity over 10 mOsm/L.

    Only eight of the total 56 eyes had a reduction in staining. The changes in the symptoms score were similar between the treatment and sham groups. There were no significant changes in meibomian gland function or lid grading.

    Tear osmolarity provides an objective quantitative value that can aid the physician to determine/track therapeutic efficacy and counsel the patient to ensure compliance to therapy. Data from a larger sample size with longer follow-up is needed to quantify changes in conventional dry eye signs and symptoms with effective therapy.

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