What Are Punctal Occluders?

As the name suggests, these devices occlude (block) the punctum, or tear duct, which is the drainage duct that carries tears away from the surface of the eye.  There are upper and lower punctum ducts in the inner corner of each eye.  Blocking these drainage ducts prevents tears from draining away too quickly.

Punctal occlusion can be compared to putting a stopper in a sink drain, keeping the tears on the eye’s surface for longer periods.  This widely performed procedure is safe, quick, painless and totally reversible.

Punctal occluders are made of a very soft flexible silicone, similar to that used in contact lenses.  Though they are barely visible to the naked eye, they are carefully manufactured into an extremely smooth and precise design.