My doctor put plugs in my eyes last year and they have helped some but with the weather getting warmer I have found them drier and itching again. Does any one use over the counter drops with their plugs?

I have!! The doc actually gave me samples from a couple different manufacturers to see which worked best. My eyes are dry enough that the plugs were a shot at any little thing that helps. Its not a problem at all to use them together. I have the cystic condition as well so I use Muro128 occasionally too. Also no problem.

LOL…I think the biggest issue is that with the plugs, if you put too big a drop in, they run over. Keep a tissue handy.

We had snow and bad weather this winter but with all the problems summer is already causing im ready for fall.

I was first dx'd with Sjogren's (30 plus years ago) by my ophthamologist...his recommendation was to use eye drops WITHOUT preservatives as they may cause allergy to them. the drops did not alter the dryness enough so we went to punctal cautery of the lower puncta which gave some relief, but I was still encountering corneal abrasion so we then cauterized the upper punta as well which did the trick for many years but as the yearsa have progressed so has the dryness. I still use Refresh Plus individuals many times during the day as well as at night. this has given me the most relief through the years..I carry them with me always along with my water bottle.

I also have plugs in all my ducts and have experienced an increase in dryness with the change in weather. I think allergies plays a part there. I have been using otc drops even after plugs went in. Frequency depends on level of dryness. I am considering Restasis because of the discomfort from dryness. For me the issue of drops is not just about the discomfort but that I suffer from increased sensitivity to light and difficulty with reading when I am too dry.

Wish there was a way to fix this…

I had punctual plugs 3 years ago and used artificial tears at the same time. I had the plugs in for almost a year, then they started to "push" themselves out. When I had them put in my Schirmer test was zero in one eye and two in the other, I was very dry. So when the plugs began to come out, the ophthalmologist just pulled them out. She said scar tissue had developed in the tear ducts and as the scarring increased the plugs were pushed out of the space. It's not that common, but for once my body did something nice for me ! I still have to use Restasis 4x's a day in addition to artificial tears. The doctor said any are ok to use, I end up with whichever one is on sale when I run out! With summer coming I know I will have to increase the artificial tears due to dryness in the sun.

My wife has had good luck with Refresh Gel. Small tube, but it lasts a long time. It comes in a 10 gram tube.

Kaz, I'm not sure who your last post was directed toward ?

Kaz said:

I had temp plugs for well over one year, closer to two. They were made of collagen and disintegrated every approx. 6 weeks, sometimes would get 8 weeks out of them, but not often and then had them replaced. I used drops and gels on top of this. I could always tell when they had disintegrated as the dryness would suddenly hit me badly.

In fact, that is the whole purpose of having the plugs, to help retain the moisture from drops and gels once plugged. Ensure you ONLY use drops and gels with no preservatives. I am shocked that the person who performed this procedure on you did not discuss about why you are having this done, as in to help keep eye moisture and using eye drops and gels... That by blocking the ducts allows the moisture from the drops and gel to stay in the eye, not drain away.

I decided against permanent plugging because it can leave a person open to infections, some people have issues with movement etc., so I had my ducts lasered close and it was the best thing I have ever done. However, I would suggest to anyone reading this who considers it, to ENSURE they test temporary plugs first to see how their eyes are affected with plugging as it isn't for everyone as it really depends how dry one's eyes are.

Some people have had theirs permanently plugged without trying temporary to discover their eyes continually water... So always test with temporary first for a period of time is my personal advice.

Even with mine lasered I have to continually use drops and gels to retain moisture. One must keep their eyes moisturised or you can damage your sight permanently from excessive dryness. I used to get ulceration a lot until I stated with plugs. I have not had any ulceration since. :-)

I use eyedrops that are preservative free, and I use ointment at night. I, also, use Lotemax drops for allerty eyes. I have plugs, as well.

Allergy eyes, not Allerty eyes. I fixed it. Never type when tired...well, okay, that doesn't really work for us, does it?

Bookgeek said:

I use eyedrops that are preservative free, and I use ointment at night. I, also, use Lotemax drops for allergy eyes. I have plugs, as well.

thank you all for the replies. I see the eye doctor this week.

Kaz is right. Your tear ducts drain excess tears so if your tear glands aren't making enough tears, you will need to use drops/gels. I have had all my tear ducts cauterized and have to use preservative free drops all day and night.

I just saw the Retina specialist to clear me to use Plaquinil, and those drops they use made my eyes feel like they were slit with razors! I swear I did not have tear in me, but that just made them roll for about 30 minutes, got out of there and poured my water bottle on both eyes! WHEW! And to think I have to go through that again for eyeglasses exam! UMP! I'd better wear a diaper to that!

He is sending me to another eye specialist about the Sjogren's and for glasses, I can hardly wait!

Well, at least my Retinas are good! One thing is in good shape!

He explained the dryer the eye, the more the drops hurt!!

Putting the drops in the fridge, assuming they are regular, preservative free drops and not medicated ones, helps. But you are right, the ones at the doctor's office can really hurt. If you use cold eye drops before you go in, it may help take some of the sting out.

Bookgeek….I never thought of putting them in the fridge and I've been using drops for years. I love this site just for things like that. What a great idea!!!!

I think my eye doctor told me about this. He has an autoimmune disease, as well, so he knows from a physician and patient angle. I have to admit, I miss being able to do it, but with the Trigeminal Neuralgia, I cannot use the cold drops, as much. Perhaps, I will try it again if things continue to improve.