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  • Punctal Plugs?

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    Old 01-25-2005, 08:16 AM   #1
    dreeeemer
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    Punctal Plugs?

    I did a search and see no mention of this... has anyone used them and, if so, do you think that they were a great benifit? I think they sound a little creepy... but if they will be a benifit to me in the long run then I will do it!
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    Old 01-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #2
    Hating glasses
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    Dre,
    I read about them breifly but, I wouldn't even think about them unless you talk to your Lasik doctor and they say that you might have dryness in your eyes for longer than the healing time. Everyone has varying degrees of dryness post-op and can expect it to last for some months after the surgery according to my doctor. Do you have a pre-exisiting dry eye condition that you are worried about? I have read that there is a condition where people have dry eyes and they may not be a candidate for the surgery if that is the case but, I think that if you have it, your regular eye doctor may have already diagnosed you with it. Is that your concern? Otherwise, the plugs, from what I read, are for people who can't produce tears or moisture enough to keep their eyes lubricate way post-op long after the eyes have healed.
    Talk to your doctor at LasikPlus or whichever place you choose for your exam. He or she can check you for dry eye syndrome and let you know if you are at risk for more than usual dryness in your eyes post op.

     
    Old 01-26-2005, 08:37 AM   #3
    dreeeemer
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    Hi! thanks for your replies to both my threads... I was leaning towards lasik plus and your post to the other thread was a big help, but now the Vision Institute is offering me a significantly lower price (10% less than what my insurance discount price would be!) and really I have to think about the cost primarily.

    As for the plugs, the Institue is the place that recomended them to me, I FEEL like my eyes are probably dryer than normal although I have never been diagnosed with it (this is one of the main reasons I want the procedure in the first place, my eyes are always bothered by contacts even the moisturizing ones). I would rather not spend the extra money (in fact I feel like this is something they 'add on' to up the price and thus make more money since the other place I went to didn't even offer them as an option.)

    I am really nervous about the whole thing... just trying to do the right thing while saving money!

    thanks again for your help!
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    Old 01-26-2005, 09:09 AM   #4
    Hating glasses
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    Dre,
    I am glad I could be of some help. You might read several threads down. There have been posts regarding the dryness of one's eyes post-op and even after they have healed. Some people who have dry eyes already have had a worse experience with dry eyes. I don't want to discourage your from getting the surgery. But, I would really discuss the issue with both doctors to make sure that they still think you are a good candidate for the surgery. If dryness with contacts is a reason you want the surgery, you might talk to your doctor about that.

    As far as price goes, you get what you pay for. If they are the same price before your insurance works their magic that is good. That means that the other place is probably pretty reputable since Lasik Plus is among the best of the best. I still highly recommend Lasik Plus simply because I know what they do and they do it right. Did you ask the doc at LasikPlus about punctal plugs? You might bring it up if you haven't already. They may not have mentioned it in the first place simply because it may not be a common factor. I think LasikPlus really does their best to provide all of the answers to the most common concerns and questions and they are extremely helpful and comforting, not to mention knowledgeable about all other questions. It can't hurt to ask if you haven't already.
    Good luck with your decision.

     
    Old 01-26-2005, 12:44 PM   #5
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    I had dry eyes for 4-6 months after my surgery, and even now, 11 months later, I do get bothered by it occasionally, although I almost never use drops anymore.
    I asked my optometrist about the plugs early on when my eyes were very dry and she said that they were only necessary in persons whose eyes were extremely dry. Although I felt like my eyes were "extremely dry", according to her they weren't that bad.

    I must say, the one thing I didn't expect from the surgery is how long it took for the dry eye problem to clear up. In fact, although I'm very happy with my result now, I may not have done the surgery had I somehow known that the dryness would stick around for so long. It was a real pain to be putting in drops so frequently, and I got worried after awhile that I was doomed to live with perpetual dry eye. However, it got better, but it took awhile.

    As for the price, absolutely DO NOT base your decision on price. Base it solely on the quality of the doctor and the reputation of the clinic. Eye surgery is not something to be compromised in anyway.

    Last edited by KelvinG; 01-26-2005 at 12:46 PM.

     
    Old 01-26-2005, 02:44 PM   #6
    dreeeemer
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    Just an update for anyone who is reading... Two of the three offices I visited gave me similar pricing:
    Lasik Plus- $1299/eye with one year "retreatment" (more for lifetime)
    Lasik Vision Center $899/eye plus $200/eye for retreatment warranty plus $100/eye for the plugs
    Insurance Cost through TruVision (uses independant office- University Ophthalmic Consultants of Washington) $895/eye with discounted retreatment (not free but seems better deal since you dont know if you would really need it anyway)

    Today I got a call from LVC offering me 10% off that insurance price, which is GREAT! BUT I have felt weird about them from the begining (call it a woman's intuition) and decided to do some research, turns out they have (had?) a class action against them for bait and switch marketing, plus some people in FL had major eye infections PLUS ABC news did a peice on them about the plugs, which as H.G. noted above, are only necissary for VERY dry eyes yet they try to sell them to everyone right away. If you google them, you will see that more than half of the results are negative info about the company. So i def. dont think that saving $160 is really worth it, I am going with the insurance company and I go next tuesday for my initial visit and hopefully my pre-op exam :-)
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    Last edited by dreeeemer; 01-26-2005 at 02:45 PM.

     
    Old 01-31-2005, 07:24 PM   #7
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    Re: Punctal Plugs?

    If you already have dry eyes, your ophthalmologist should definitely discourage you from getting the Lasik surgery. During the surgery they cut some of the nerves that supply tears to the cornea, whoch would make dry eyes inifinitely worse in a person who is already suffering from this condition. I have severe dry eyes, and a while ago I had asked my ophthalmologist if he would do Lasik on me, and he said no way. I also know that some people without dry eyes before the surgery do wind up with it after. Sometimes it is permanent, and sometimes it goes away. Knowing how bad the pain can be from dry eyes, I can tell you that if there is even a tiny, slim chance of you having dry eyes prior to surgery, it is not worth it to risk a lifetime of pain just so you don't have to wear glasses. Just make sure that you weigh all of your options wisely before your surgery, and that you choose an excellent surgeon.

    Now to answer the question about punctal plugs. Punctal plugs are no big deal. Really. No big deal at all. They can help immensely with dryness, and are not permanent. The temporary plugs are made of collagen and dissolve within a few days so that you can decide if you like them or not. The more "permanent" ones are made of silicione and do not dissolve. But they are VERY simple for your doctor to remove if need be. There is also another kind that gets inserted deeper into the tear duct and molds to your shape. It is not visible like the other ones (if you look really closely in the mirror, with the other kinds you can see a tiny shiny spot where the hole is.) They cannot be removed and are dissolved within 3-4 months. So you see, none of the plugs are really "permanent." Your ophthalmologist would be able to tell you which choice is better for you.

     
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