At Virginia Eye Consultants, we are always keeping abreast of the latest eye care technology and techniques to provide our patients with the best possible care. Recently, our experienced ophthalmologist, Dr. Elizabeth Yeu, wrote an in-depth article for Eyecare Vision of the Future, an online publication focused on new and innovative technology in the eye care field. In “Even Better Than Compliance,” Dr. Yeu discusses the fact that many patients with conditions such as glaucoma or dry eye disease manage their condition with prescription eye drops. However, the constant application of these eye drops can present a number of challenges such as:
1. Remembering to administer your eye drops when needed
2. Filling the exact drug prescribed by your doctor (e.g. brand name vs. generic)
3. Preservatives in the medication irritating the eye over a prolonged period of time
4. Conventional eye drop administration causing the eyes to tear or run
Many oral medications take advantage of a sustained-release delivery system to cut down on the responsibilities of the patient. While sustained-release ophthalmic drugs have existed since the 1970s, new technology is emerging that can allow an implantable sustained-release device to administer medication to the eye with increased efficiency, convenience, and reliability.
One new option for patients is a device called a punctal plug. Punctal plugs can be gently inserted into the eyes, allowing patients to receive a continuous low-level dose of eye medication for steady, consistent treatment. With the ability to last 45 days, these punctal plugs could eliminate many of the common challenges of traditional eye drops while unobtrusively ensuring your eyes receive the medication they need to function at their best.