Tear ducts can be plugged by using small devices known as punctual plugs, according to AllAboutVision.com. Punctual plugs are inserted into the tear ducts to block drainage, relieving dry eye symptoms by increasing the eye's tear film and surface moisture.
Punctual plugs are semipermanent devices that are inserted into the punctum of each eyelid. Before the procedure, an eye doctor measures the puncta in order to choose suitably sized devices, AllAboutVision.com explains.
There are two main varieties of punctual plugs. The first variety is semipermanent, made from durable materials such as silicone, as reported by AllAboutVision.com. This variety is typically long-lasting. The second variety has the ability to dissolve, meaning the body eventually reabsorbs them. Dissolvable varieties are often made from materials such as collagen, which can last anywhere from a few days to several months.