Comparison of Retention Rate of 2 Designs of Punctal Plugs for Treatment of Dry Eye: Randomized Control Trial
The purpose of the study is to compare the retention rate of two commonly used punctal plug designs (Superflex versus Parasol).
Double blinded prospective interventional randomized control trial. Patients were recruited from Hotel Dieu Hospital Department of Ophthalmology. Moderate to severe dry eyes were included for study. Patients were randomized to receive Superflex, or Parasol punctal plugs and were blinded to the brand in use. The primary outcome measure was length of time the punctal plugs were retained. Retention was measured at monthly follow up visits for a total of 6 months. Secondary outcome measures included improvement in dry eye assessment scores, tear meniscus height, Schrimer I, and corneal and conjunctival staining. Follow up assessments were conducted by an investigator that was blinded to the plug randomization.
At 6 months, 68% of Parasol plugs were retained in comparison to 32% of Superflex plugs. Mean time of retention of Parasol plugs was 4.68 months while mean time of retention of Superflex plugs was 3.36 months. This result was statistically significant (p=0.035).
There is a statistically significant difference in the retention rate between the Parasol and the Superflex punctual plug designs. This data will allow us to guide patient decision making for the treatment of moderate to severe dry eye.