When running a practice, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. Beyond the doctors, staff, and patients, there are multiple product offers to think about throughout the daily grind. New additions can help progress the practice, but they must be chosen carefully as to not disrupt the current flow. Natural eye care has become a popular addition to many optometric practices, as it joins in the recent societal trend of health and wellness. Jasmine Nguyen, OD, found out how quickly this kind of addition can make an impact on routine practice.
Instant ImpactDr. Nguyen added a natural occasional dry eye product to her office, and she admitted in an article for Women in Optometry (1) that it had much more of an instant effect than she had originally anticipated. By sheer happenstance, Nguyen had stopped by a booth at a trade show and picked up a sample of an all-natural occasional dry eye product. “My eyes are dry,” she said, “and I’ve found it hard to find [something that works] well and don’t have preservatives.” She was so impressed with the results, she decided to try selling it in her office.
A Natural FitWhen she made the decision to begin offering a natural option to her occasional dry eye patients, Dr. Nguyen confessed that she “didn’t expect it to go this well.” Her first order was small and sold out almost immediately. She placed another, larger order, and that “sold very quickly, too.” She found out that her patients appreciated the convenience of taking care of all their needs before setting foot out of the practice. “Instead of having another errand to do, they liked buying it here.” She also noticed that patients made multiple purchases so they had a longer lasting supply. Dr. Nguyen has decided to start her patients on her natural occasional dry eye relief at the first signs of symptoms, and her patients love it because it works and costs less than most prescriptions.
“A lot of my patients don’t have insurance or their insurance doesn’t cover the cost of artificial tears. The cost is low compared to prescription products, so it’s a good place to start all patients who complain about [dryness] regularly or even just from looking at the computer or devices too long.”
A Simple SolutionOne increasingly common form of natural eye care is nutraceuticals. These eye health supplements provide patients with nutrients proven to support healthy vision that may be lacking in their regular diets. In a blog post last week, we talked about Dr. Scott Huffer’s successes incorporating EyePromise nutraceuticals in his practice. He spoke about the benefits of housing the products in the office and how his patients appreciated the convenience.
“Rather than sending your patients on a scavenger hunt for the products you have prescribed, you can offer them the chance to buy it all before leaving your office.”Both Drs. Nguyen and Huffer recommend prescribing these natural methods rather than simply providing them. Nguyen created a tear-off pad, similar to a prescription pad, so that her recommendation will be taken more seriously by her patients. EyePromise offers its partners a prescription pad with all products listed on it to help make the prescription protocol easier to implement.
What Should You Look For?Practices looking at nutraceuticals to offer should consider products with quality ingredients and scientifically proven results. EyePromise offers quality nutraceuticals designed for a range of patient needs, including macular health, occasional dry eye, blood vessel integrity, and visual performance. Every product is manufactured to the exacting standards of the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and NSF certified. Some products even carry the NSF certification for sport and are approved by major athletic associations. On top of the quality ingredients, peer-reviewed studies support the efficacy of each EyePromise product. For example, EZ Tears™, EyePromise's occasional dry eye formulation, was tested in the Ocular Nutrition’s Impact on Tear Film (ONIT) study (2). This clinical research found that some participants had relief as early as one week after starting an EZ Tears regimen, while over 80% felt relief within 4 weeks. Improvements continued throughout the entire 8-week study, and the results showed:
- OSDI Improved 38%
- TBUT Improved 45%
- Conjunctival Staining Improved 50%
- Corneal Staining Improved 33%
- Tear Meniscus Height Improved 50%
- Lid Inflammation Improved 40%
- Phenol Red Thread Improved
- "Decision to Offer Natural Eye Care Products in Office Has Immediate Effect." Review of Optometry. Jobson Medical Information LLC, 18 June 2017. Web. 27 July 2017.
- Mulqueeny SP, Davis RL, Townsend WD, Koffler BH (2015) The ONIT Study–Ocular Nutrition Impact on Tear Film. Adv Ophthalmol Vis Syst 2(2): 00038. DOI: 10.15406/aovs.2015.02.00038