Tear duct plug complication

I haven't seen this mentioned before probably because it's fairly uncommon. Like many of you, I had tear duct plugs inserted in my upper and lower tear ducts. Unfortunately for me, they did not help with the dryness at all. However, I have responded well to Restasis eye drops. A few months after the tear duct plug insertion I noticed some sense of irritation in my right upper eye lid. There was a bit of white drainage, but nothing to get excited about. As time went on the irritation became worse and the drainage from the upper tear duct became thick and yellow in color and spread to my left eye. In the morning, my eyelids would literally be stuck together with this sticky drainage. My optometrist thought it was conjunctivitis and gave me antibiotic eye drops which did not help. I then went to my ophthalmologist because I had developed an actual lump in the right upper eyelid. He sent me immediately to an oculoplastic surgeon. He told me I had canaliculitis and put me on oral antibiotics. That didn't help either so he had to open up the tear duct by making an incision in the eyelid (on the inside of the eyelid) and then scrape out the entire tear duct canal and irrigate it thoroughly. Take my word for it, it was not pleasant. When he sent the material to the lab it came back actinomyceses, a species of bacteria. I'm sending this to all of you with plugs to let you know that if you notice any irritation, redness, swelling or drainage from one of your eyelids don't hesitate to see your eye MD. Canaliculitus is a rare, but possible complication of punctal plugs.

Wow…I had never hear of that before. Hope you are ok now.

I was told that it was a possible though very uncommon complication. But clearly, it does happen. Thanks for sharing yoru story with the warning signs.

I know someone who had this type of infection with no plugs.