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Baseball Player Has Punctal Plugs Procedure to Alleviate Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms

NY Mets veteran catcher Thomas Nido is nearing a return from the 10-day injured list due to a vision issue.

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Baseball Player Has Punctal Plugs Procedure to Alleviate Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms
New York Mets catcher Thomas Nido recently had punctal plugs inserted into his yes to alleviate his dry eye syndrome. PHOTO CREDIT: YouTube screenshot

The New York Mets have been one of the more disappointing teams in Major League Baseball though the first quarter of the 2023 season.

Team owner Steve Cohen opened his checkbook in the offseason to sign a handful of high-profile free agents. The Metropolitans sport – by far – the largest payroll in baseball at a tick over $350 million. (That’s about $75 million more than the big-spending New York Yankees. It is more than $100 million more than the San Diego Padres who have the third highest payroll.)

All that coin has gotten the team from Queens a pedestrian 22-23 mark 45 games into the 162-game season.

While the team, as a unit, has underperformed, it certainly hasn’t helped that one of its top catchers has dealt with vision problems all year.

Tomás Nido landed on the injured list on May 10. The diagnosis? Dry eye syndrome. After the roster move was announced, manager Buck Showalter said during a press conference, “It’s gotten to a point where it’s affecting him a lot more in night games. Just need to get it corrected.”

Nido, who opened the season in a backstop platoon with fellow veteran Omar Narváez, was hitting a paltry .118 prior to landing on the IL. And his numbers were notably worse during night games.

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“I would see a pitch and I would swing, then look at video after and be like, [wow],” Nido said in an article on mlb.com. “I’m not picking the ball up.”

Nido recently had a procedure to insert punctal plugs into each eye. The plugs, along with medicated eye drops, have improved his vision.

“It’s kind of alleviated the eye pressure that I had,” Nido said. “I felt like I had somebody pushing on my head. I had a headache for like 72 hours straight.”

According to the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center:

“Punctal plugs are small devices that are used to block the tear drainage channel in the inner corner of your eye. The plugs are inserted into the tear duct opening, which is called the puncta. Tears normally drain out from this channel through the back of your nose and into the back of your throat. The punctal plug acts as a dam by preventing tears from flowing out. This helps keeps your eyes moist with your own tears. They can also help artificial tears last longer.”

 

Nido reportedly had LASIK surgery in 2019. He’s now back to regularly wearing contacts for the first time in four years. The Mets are giving him a few more days to get used to his new contacts before reinstating him.

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“I’ll try anything at this point,” Nido said. “But it’s been good so far. … I haven’t been able to see out of that left eye like this in a long time.”

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