View Full Version : eye duct plugs for dry eyes/sjogrens?

11-12-2011, 07:49 AM
Has anyone done the "permanent" silicone plugs to plug the tear duct for dry eyes? I went for a Lasik eval and they did a great free exam and dicsussed dealing with dry eye from an auto immune disease if I had Lasik. I am not diagnoses Lupus but just Autoimmune/hashimotos but most likely sjogrens and or Lupus. I asked if the dryness I have is like that of other people living in a desert here in Colorado, she said worse. I asked is it as bad as people with menopause, she said worse. I said is it as bad as those with Sjogren's, she said yep! She gave me OTC lubricating drops and said use for 2 weeks and consider plugging the tear duct which could eliminate the need for drops. I hate doing anything for 3 x a day but also hate sandpaper eyes. My excessive tearing laying on my right was so bad my eye lid got " diaper rash", better now, just cause or maybe the omega oils???. The doc was doing a eye glasses exam after lasik was a no go . So the regular eye exam picked up on adding to the list of significant symptoms.

I am going to ask the eye doc to write down what they saw and send to the rheumy. I was doing so well and was going to wean off pain meds and now i'm looking to get a bigger prescription or consider plaquenil. I was able to get a job after being a stay at home mom 10 years ( I hate teen agers so much though I would be better appreciated bring home a pay check), got really sick the past 2 years but was doing better. Now almost falling asleep at red lights. Could be worse. I did get control of perimenopause, OMG.

So anyone done tear duct plugs?

11-12-2011, 01:24 PM
I have Sjogren's, and my ophthalmologist said that the first step before plugs is to try Restasis. Have you tried it? It is expensive, even with insurance, but my doc told me to use each vial twice instead of once, so that helps with the cost. It is helping me. I often forget to use the artificial tears through the day, so he keeps telling me to remember those or we'll have to go to the plugs.
I take Plaquenil, and it really helps with the joint pain. I'm dealing with the perimenopause stuff, too. That, along with SJS can also make other parts very dry - KY is my friend!
LOL, I'm glad that my kids are all grown. I was a glutton for punishment - I had five of them, and then I taught teenagers for seven years. Luckily, I love that age group.

11-16-2011, 12:29 AM
Yes I have them in my eyes now - I have one set in each eye and am going to have the upper ones done this week. I can feel them if I roll my eyes but they dont hurt. Doctor said they dont last a lifetime, but are classed as permanent. On a good day i dont need drops at all - especially if it has been raining, on a hot sunny Perth day, I can use an entire bottle as even the plugs get challenged by the dry conditions of the climate.

I am glad I had them, it didnt hurt at all having them put in, in fact I am so glad I saw an eye specialist as my bloods had gone back to normal and it was the eye consultant that took one look and said 'sero negative sjogrens', and when this was relayed to the Rheumy, he backed it up and I start Plaquenil next week.

Dont be afraid to have them, they can make such a difference to you and are worth their weight in gold. xxxx

11-16-2011, 06:52 PM
I had plugs put in about 10 years ago. One fell out after a year or so, but the other is still there. It was easy to have them put in, but they didn't make a huge difference for me.

Don't be afraid of plaquinil - for most people is is good medicine and really helps. Make sure you let your eye doc know you are on it, though, so she can check for toxicity every 6 months. My eye doc said most of the people they see with toxicity have been on it for more than 10 years.

01-24-2012, 08:45 PM
I have eye plugs, and lost the one in my right eye within 2 months. It was replaced, but I still have dry eyes and blurry vision. I haven't been diagnosed with Sjogren's, but am going to talk to my ophthamologist about it tomorrow. I use a gel for severe dry eyes at night and a drop 4 to 5 times a day. Nothing seems to help.

Any suggestions as to what to ask the Dr. tomorrow?

Thanks so much!

01-24-2012, 10:00 PM
I've read that some ophthalmologists are advocating using Restasis along with the plugs. You might ask yours about that.

01-24-2012, 10:16 PM
Hi Marla,

I made a note about the Restasis and the test for Sjogren's. I really appreciate all your help!

Hugs, Della