Question: What is punctual occlusion, how does it work and what are the risks/benefits of this procedure for dry eye?
Answer: Our eyes produce tears from the lacrimal gland, enter the eye, and drain out of the punctum. We have an opening in our lower lid and one in our upper lid. If we occlude the punctum, it causes the tears to fill up the eye and drain out of the upper punctum.
This helps keep the eye moist much longer and any medication we use will stay in the eye longer. The risk benefit is pretty much benefit. There is a small group of patients who have some inflammation and the tears staying in the eye longer can irritate the eye. So it's the eye doctor's job to find out when you should use it and how long you should have your punctum occluded to get the maximum benefit from it.