Review of Optometric Business https://www.reviewob.com Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:17:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://www.reviewob.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/cropped-ROBfavicon-32x32.png Review of Optometric Business https://www.reviewob.com 32 32 Eye Drops to Correct Presbyopia In Trial Stages https://www.reviewob.com/eye-drops-to-correct-presbyopia-in-trial-stages/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:05:34 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38249 News on the latest research being done to bring a presbyopia-correcting eye drop to market.

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Oct. 21, 2020

There has been talk in optometric circles for some time about the research being done to develop eye drops to correct presbyopia. During this month’s Academy at Home 2020 meeting, research findings were presented that update the progress made in bringing such eye drops to market, according to reporting by Review of Optometry.

During Academy, Kathryn Richdale, OD, PhD, of the University of Houston College of Optometry, presented the Phase I/II results of the topical eye drop Dioptin (UNR844, Novartis). The eye drop is a lipoic acid-based, topically instilled prodrug that penetrates the cornea. Enzymes metabolized by the crystalline lens help reduce disulfide bonds between proteins and restore elasticity. According to Dr. Richdale, increasing lens protein disulfide content may cause presbyopia through a loss of lens elasticity. The ophthalmic solution showed a five-letter improvement in distance-corrected near visual acuity (DCVNA) vs. placebo, with treatment benefit observed up to seven months in observational follow-up.

However, work remains to be done, as the objectives of the trial were not met. The prospective, randomized, double-masked, multicenter Phase IIa study analyzed male and female subjects aged 45 to 65 years old who had DCNVA in each eye and binocularly <70 ETDRS letters (20/40) at 40cm and who needed a minimum add of +1.00D or greater to achieve binocular DCNVA of at least 85 ETDRS letters (20/20). Subjects were randomized 1:1 to receive 1.5% Dioptin (n=40) or placebo drops (n=38) in each eye, twice a day for three months. “There was no significant difference in mean change in DCNVA between Dioptin and placebo, (difference of 1.6 letters), so the primary objective was not met,” the study’s findings state.

More research is needed to better understand what it will take to make a reliably efficacious eye drop to correct presbyopia, but Dr. Richdale noted the continuing “unmet need for pharmacological treatments in presbyopia.”

 

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New Program to Support Children’s Eye Health by Reducing Exposure to Blue Light Amid COVID-19 https://www.reviewob.com/new-program-to-support-childrens-eye-health-by-reducing-exposure-to-blue-light-amid-covid-19/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 20:02:18 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38262 A new effort to help protect children's eyes from harmful blue light.

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Oct. 21, 2020

UnitedHealthcare has launched a vision program that will help children across the country reduce their exposure to blue light and support their overall eye health, addressing the unique eye-health challenges young people may face amid COVID-19, according to an announcement posted to Business Wire by UnitedHealthcare.

The new enhancements for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Eye Care Program are designed to help reduce the prevalence of digital eye strain among young people, a growing concern given people spend an average of 13 hours per day on digital devices.1 Key details include:

Donations totaling $100,000 to school districts to help meet the needs of their students, including for technology such as laptops with blue-light filtering properties that may help reduce the risk of digital eye strain amid the growing use of distance learning due to COVID-19.

The blue-light filtering technology may help provide protection from potentially harmful blue light, which is especially important given children’s still-developing eyes.2 The following school districts will each receive $20,000 donations to help meet the educational needs of their students: Dallas Independent School District (TX), DeSoto Parish School Board (LA), Green Bay Area Public Schools (WI), and Seminole County Public Schools (FL).

Enhanced eye care benefit at no additional member cost sharing for standard and premium anti-reflective coating on eyewear for dependents under age 19 enrolled in eligible employer-sponsored plans, helping prevent potentially harmful reflective glare and reduce the risk of digital eye strain. The enhanced benefit is available to new UnitedHealthcare Vision customers with 100 to 1,000 eligible plan participants.*

The enhanced benefit builds on an existing program for UnitedHealthcare Vision plan participants that provides members up to age 13 a second covered eye exam and an additional pair of glasses if their vision prescription changes 0.5 diopter or greater; a comparable benefit design is available to UnitedHealthcare Vision plan participants who are pregnant or breastfeeding**.

UnitedHealthcare and Eyesafe hosted the Blue Light Summit 2020 on Oct. 15, bringing together world leaders from consumer electronics and health care to discuss the connection between blue light, screen time and eye health. For parents, teachers, school administrators, employers and all consumers, a separate webinar is scheduled for Oct. 13 to share information about ways to help reduce blue light exposure amid the increased prevalence of distance learning due to COVID-19. People can click here to register for the Blue Light Summit 2020 and click here for details about the educational webinar.

In advance of the Blue Light Summit 2020, Eyesafe, a provider of screen time and blue light solutions, and UnitedHealthcare have issued the “Screen Time 2020 Report,” which includes survey results from employers and vision care providers related to screen time and blue light exposure. The report revealed that 94 percent of eyecare providers surveyed are “very concerned” to “somewhat concerned” about the impact of digital device screen time on their patients’ eyes; among employers, more than 77 percent of respondents are “somewhat” to “very concerned” about the impact of digital device screen time on their employees’ eyes and health.3

“Digital eye strain due in part to increased screen time is becoming a more significant issue for many Americans, including professionals working remotely and students engaged in distance learning,” said John Ryan, general manager, UnitedHealthcare Vision. “We are taking a comprehensive approach to help our more than 20 million vision members and Americans nationwide to help reduce their exposure to blue light, enhancing our whole-person approach to health benefits and vision care.”

Digital eye strain, which is caused by prolonged use of computers, smartphones or tablets, may cause symptoms such as sore, tired, watery or dry eyes, headache, or sore neck, shoulder or back. More than 50 percent of computer users may experience digital eye strain.4

References
1 Eyesafe, 2020, https://eyesafe.com/covid-19-screen-time-spike-to-over-13-hours-per-day
2 The American Optometric Association, 2020, https://www.aoa.org/Documents/OptometryCares/Blue%20Light%20Impact%20in%20Children.pdf
3 Screen Time 2020 Report[remove italics and add quote marks?] survey of 157 eye care professionals and 500 employers, July 2020
4 BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/
*Enhanced benefit design available to new UnitedHealthcare vision customers with between 100 and 1,000 eligible plan participants and case effective dates between Oct. 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021.
**Second covered eye exam and glasses is per plan or calendar year depending on the policy and requires applicable copays; second pair does not include contact lenses.

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How Do I Re-Energize My Burnt-Out Employees’ Thinking? https://www.reviewob.com/how-do-i-re-energize-my-burnt-out-employees-thinking/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:38:10 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38257 By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD, and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD Oct. 21, 2020 The pandemic has been a stressful time. Working in a health-care office can make it doubly difficult, with new safety protocols to implement and track. Here is how to refresh your employees for their wellbeing, and to enable them to continue delivering superior service to your patients.

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By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Oct. 21, 2020

The pandemic has been a stressful time. Working in a health-care office can make it doubly difficult, with new safety protocols to implement and track. Here is how to refresh your employees for their wellbeing, and to enable them to continue delivering superior service to your patients.

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How to Set Expectations with Patients to Make Successful Outcomes Likelier https://www.reviewob.com/how-to-set-expectations-with-patients-to-make-successful-outcomes-likelier/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:27:13 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38074 By Jennifer L. Stewart, OD Oct. 21, 2020 When you create treatment plans, or plans for improvement, your patients have to know what to expect. If they expect more dramatic results than are likely, or results delivered faster than is possible, you will have a discouraged and frustrated patient on your hands. I find setting expectations effectively to be an important ingredient to success both in my primary eyecare practice and in my sports vision practice. Here is how I set expectations with patients so the goals we work toward are productive, achievable and result in satisfied patients. Educate that Treatment is Just One Piece of a Larger Puzzle We set expectations about our training at the beginning. Our training is part of an athlete’s “circle,” which also includes strength training, nutrition, sleep, recovery, skills training and mental training. We explain to athletes (and parents) that consistent performance vision training will help an athlete improve, but we are not working in a vacuum. All of the other training and recovery activities also need to be done and optimized. Ask Patients What Their Goals Are We ask what an athlete is hoping to achieve – is there a specific issue they are having, or are they coming to us to improve overall athletic performance? We had one athlete who wanted to improve overall skills. He was at an age that sports were increasingly important with his peers. We set a program to work on overall coordination, reaction, anticipation, decision making and focusing. I will never forget receiving a three-minute voicemail from him talking about his role in his team winning a dodge-ball game in gym class. He was beyond thrilled to play a role and get the congratulations of his teammates. His teachers also noticed an improvement in his focus and attention in class, and other adults mentioned to his parents how much he seemed to have matured and how his confidence had grown. He even set a goal of trying out for a travel basketball team, which prior to his training would never have been a thought. We were able to impact not only his athletics, but his whole school and social experience, which was extremely rewarding! Stay Optimistic, But Let Patients Know Success is Not Guaranteed When we do the initial evaluation for each athlete, the parent is usually present. I also send an e-mail summary to the athlete’s […]

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By Jennifer L. Stewart, OD

Oct. 21, 2020

When you create treatment plans, or plans for improvement, your patients have to know what to expect. If they expect more dramatic results than are likely, or results delivered faster than is possible, you will have a discouraged and frustrated patient on your hands. I find setting expectations effectively to be an important ingredient to success both in my primary eyecare practice and in my sports vision practice. Here is how I set expectations with patients so the goals we work toward are productive, achievable and result in satisfied patients.

Educate that Treatment is Just One Piece of a Larger Puzzle
We set expectations about our training at the beginning. Our training is part of an athlete’s “circle,” which also includes strength training, nutrition, sleep, recovery, skills training and mental training. We explain to athletes (and parents) that consistent performance vision training will help an athlete improve, but we are not working in a vacuum. All of the other training and recovery activities also need to be done and optimized.

Ask Patients What Their Goals Are
We ask what an athlete is hoping to achieve – is there a specific issue they are having, or are they coming to us to improve overall athletic performance?

We had one athlete who wanted to improve overall skills. He was at an age that sports were increasingly important with his peers. We set a program to work on overall coordination, reaction, anticipation, decision making and focusing. I will never forget receiving a three-minute voicemail from him talking about his role in his team winning a dodge-ball game in gym class. He was beyond thrilled to play a role and get the congratulations of his teammates. His teachers also noticed an improvement in his focus and attention in class, and other adults mentioned to his parents how much he seemed to have matured and how his confidence had grown. He even set a goal of trying out for a travel basketball team, which prior to his training would never have been a thought. We were able to impact not only his athletics, but his whole school and social experience, which was extremely rewarding!

Stay Optimistic, But Let Patients Know Success is Not Guaranteed
When we do the initial evaluation for each athlete, the parent is usually present. I also send an e-mail summary to the athlete’s parents discussing our findings, my goals for their child and what the training program will aim to work on. We reassess athletes periodically and expect improvement, but I caution parents that this is not guaranteed. If athletes take a long period off from training, or have a reevaluation on a day they may not be performing optimally, we may see a lack of improvement.

Setting Expectations is Especially Important When Prescribing Multifocal CLs & Progressive Glasses
Before I present multifocal contact lenses to a patient, I ask them what their goals are. Then, I set expectations. I usually say, “If I can get you to 75-80 percent of your goals, I will consider it a success.” If they are looking to see everything perfect at every distance, then I will discuss distance-only contact lenses with reading glasses on top. I tell patients we may not arrive only at one solution, just as you wouldn’t expect to wear one pair of shoes for work, weekends and sports.

Multifocal contact lenses give patients the freedom of not relying on glasses, but may not be perfect in all situations. I rarely use the word “compromise,” but instead talk about different ways we may need to correct vision. For example, “Multifocal contact lenses should work for you in almost all situations once we have found the correction prescription. However, for situations such as sports or sustained reading work, we may have to supplement with other solutions, such as reading glasses and distance-only contact lenses.”

We do the same with progressive lenses. I tell patients that progressives work for most people most of the time, but we may have to add a separate pair for work for multiple screens, or distance-only for TV in bed or driving.
Our practice has a high success rate with multifocal contact lenses and progressives, in part by us setting expectations up first. It takes more chair time upfront, but I find we have significantly fewer contact lens checks and glasses remakes because patients have realistic expectations.

Think About How Best to Impart Your Message
I spend a lot of time working on my verbiage and my message delivery in the exam room. My goal is to be as direct and efficient as possible, and to provide information in a clear and concise way. I have shadowed other colleagues in their offices to hear how they speak to patients, and have learned a great deal from this. I have one colleague in particular who sees double the patients an average OD sees in a day (at least), yet every patient I have referred to him raves about how thorough he is and how much time he spends with them. He is the master of communication. He is direct and informative, and conveys a large amount of information in a short amount of time. Having colleagues you can shadow and learn from is invaluable in learning how you can improve your communication to patients.

 

Jennifer Stewart, OD, is a partner in Norwalk Eye Care in Norwalk, Conn. She also is founder and chief vision officer of Performance 20/20, a sports vision training center in Stamford, Conn. To contact her: jen.stewart@perform2020.com 

 

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6 Steps to a Patient Experience Turnaround https://www.reviewob.com/6-steps-to-a-patient-experience-turnaround/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 15:15:01 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38038 By Justin L. Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO Oct. 21, 2020 Turning around your patient experience doesn’t need to wait for the ideal economy, or any other ideal set of circumstances. As challenging as 2020 has been, you can still work towards improving the experience patients have in your office. Here are keys to powering changes that will result in better patient service and greater revenues. Define Your Vision If you could have your dream practice, what would it look like? Can you clearly define what your patient experience should look like?  Would it be patients waiting for no more than a few minutes for their appointments to begin? Would it entail a seamless experience in which all paperwork is done ahead of time online, with the doctor and opticians ready to educate patients on exactly what each needs in care and eyewear? Would it consistently result in a 5-star review? Now, observe what the reality of your current patient experience is. How long do patients typically wait after arriving to start their appointments? Is the doctor and team ready ahead of time for their arrival, having key background information on the patient at their fingertips from past visits or lifestyle questionnaires? And are they ready to listen to build in real time on that recorded information? What feedback do you receive from patients? Those are just some of the key questions that will allow you to begin to bridge the gap between where you want to go and where you are. Watch & Listen How are patients greeted when they walk through the door, and do your team members almost race to greet the patient? If the patient is greeted, is it a warm, welcoming tone that conveys they are the most important priority, or a tone that expresses irritation for being bothered? Watch how patients move through your office, including where there are bottlenecks, or unnecessary waiting, and where the experience flounders, such as at the check-in and check-out desk, or in the optical, with patients roaming unattended. It’s important to do this observation over the course of multiple days and for multiple patients. Your team should be able to consistently deliver kind of experience patients will want to return to and refer others to experience to each patient, every time. Watch for where that experience breaks down. Listen to how each team member speaks to and interacts with […]

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By Justin L. Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO

Oct. 21, 2020

Turning around your patient experience doesn’t need to wait for the ideal economy, or any other ideal set of circumstances. As challenging as 2020 has been, you can still work towards improving the experience patients have in your office. Here are keys to powering changes that will result in better patient service and greater revenues.

Define Your Vision
If you could have your dream practice, what would it look like? Can you clearly define what your patient experience should look like?  Would it be patients waiting for no more than a few minutes for their appointments to begin? Would it entail a seamless experience in which all paperwork is done ahead of time online, with the doctor and opticians ready to educate patients on exactly what each needs in care and eyewear? Would it consistently result in a 5-star review?

Now, observe what the reality of your current patient experience is. How long do patients typically wait after arriving to start their appointments? Is the doctor and team ready ahead of time for their arrival, having key background information on the patient at their fingertips from past visits or lifestyle questionnaires? And are they ready to listen to build in real time on that recorded information? What feedback do you receive from patients?

Those are just some of the key questions that will allow you to begin to bridge the gap between where you want to go and where you are.

Watch & Listen
How are patients greeted when they walk through the door, and do your team members almost race to greet the patient? If the patient is greeted, is it a warm, welcoming tone that conveys they are the most important priority, or a tone that expresses irritation for being bothered?

Watch how patients move through your office, including where there are bottlenecks, or unnecessary waiting, and where the experience flounders, such as at the check-in and check-out desk, or in the optical, with patients roaming unattended. It’s important to do this observation over the course of multiple days and for multiple patients. Your team should be able to consistently deliver kind of experience patients will want to return to and refer others to experience to each patient, every time. Watch for where that experience breaks down.

Listen to how each team member speaks to and interacts with patients. Do they talk about the benefits versus the technical features of the products you prescribe and they sell? For them to be able to do that, you need to provide training that allows them to practice talking about the visual, comfort and eye health advantages of your products. For example, for computer glasses: “We have all been spending more time than ever on electronic devices during the pandemic. You mentioned to the doctor that your eyes feel dry and tired at the end of the day. There are glasses available that are especially designed to relieve that strain while protecting your eyes from harmful blue light.”

Another key is making sure staff is not under-educating and under-selling patients. Listen for conversations that begin with, “This is what your insurance covers.” Instead, those conversations should begin with, “These are the products the doctor has prescribed, which he [or she] feels will most benefit you.”

Improve Efficiency
If your back-end processes are not efficient, your team will be tied up doing administrative tasks instead of giving their full attention to serving patients. Analyze your processes for glasses and contact lens ordering. Where can steps be removed, so the service happens in more of a direct-to-patient approach than an approach that puts additional pressure on your staff. For example, there are contact lens ordering and delivery services, such as MARLO, YourLens.com and LensFerry and Dr. Contact Lens that enable fulfillment and delivery of contact lenses that remove the step of your office calling the patient and facilitating purchasing transactions.

Prioritize Needed Changes & Set SMART Goals for Making Needed Improvements
You won’t be able to address all of the needed improvements at one time, so prioritize the ones that most directly impact the patient experience and profitability, such as eliminating the patient bottlenecks, or delays in patient flow that limit doctor productivity and frustrate patients.

Once you pinpoint what needs to be fixed first, set SMART, or Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound, goals. Some problems in the practice will be fixed quickly, such as by signing on with a contact lens fulfillment and delivery service, while others, like opticians who aren’t having the right conversations with patients, will require training. By setting SMART goals and tracking them, you will be able to create an actionable plan to accomplish each needed improvement.

Set Your Budget
Calculate how much you can afford to allocate from your practice budget to each action that needs to be taken to reach your goals. Those actions can range from paying for a new service, such as an outsourced billing and claims provider, to purchasing an additional piece of pre-testing equipment. Project the return on investment for each new expense, specifying exactly how the purchase will improve the efficiency and the patient experience, or otherwise lead to greater profitability.

Engage Your Team
Change is a team sport, and you must lead your team effectively to achieve the SMART goals you set. None of those goals, and the investments you make toward those goals, will work without the buy-in from your staff. Explain to your team how a new service or purchase for the office will improve the care of patients and the experience they have in your office, benefiting both patients and the practice. Rather than micromanaging, empower team members to help you track your progress. Each team member could be made responsible for tracking and improving a specific metrics related to your goals. As you track and assess progress, be ready to reiterate and make changes to continuously improve your patient experience.

When you are focusing on the most powerful ways to improve your patient experience, and your team is in alignment with your leadership, you are able to succeed in serving patients better, resulting in better health outcomes and greater profitability

 

Justin L. Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO, is executive vice-president for professional strategies at Healthy Eyes Advantage. To contact him: JManningOD@hea2020.com

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How I Am Paying Off My Practice Loans in 6 Years & Saving $18,000 in Interest https://www.reviewob.com/how-i-am-paying-off-my-practice-loans-in-6-years-saving-18000-in-interest/ Mon, 19 Oct 2020 14:51:09 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38060 By Vittorio Mena OD, MS Oct. 21, 2020 Practice loans can help you make the kinds of investments that provide better care for patients, and, ultimately, greater profitability. Here are the major loans I have taken out, and how I am managing paying off these loans to limit my interest payments. Shortly after graduation, I took out a loan for $96,100 with Bankers Healthcare Group. I also had student loans still being paid off. I took out this loan to help pay for equipment in my new practice, including an OCT, corneal topographer, multiple retinomaxs, other hand-held devices related to sports vision and frame inventory. I Chose a Finance Company Instead of a Bank I partnered with a financial planning company that helps manage debt, and created a plan that allows me to pay off the loan the fastest way possible without adding any additional payments. On the path I was previously on, I was paying $3,177 a month and I would finish paying off all of my loans by 2045, paying $74,200 in interest. After working with financial advisors, a plan was created that will allow me to have the loans paid off in less than six years, saving $18,000 in interest! The monthly payments are the same as before, the way the money is allocated towards the loans is the difference. The math is based on interest, principle and the minimum payments. The reason I chose to take the loan with Bankers Healthcare Group, and not with a bank, is because this loan is specialized for health-care professionals only. After the loan agents ask you a few questions about your profession and income, and the amount you need, you get approval within 24 hours and the funds come in as soon as three days after that. Another added benefit is that these loans do not appear on your credit score and are at a fixed interest rate. Editor’s Note: Vision One Credit Union provides loans targeted especially for eyecare practices. Work with a Financial Planner to Create a Personalized Plan My financial planner, Giovanni Savo, helped me create a personalized plan to pay off debt in the fastest way possible. He used a complex program to analyze and formulate an individual plan, which focused both on my student and business debt. A written plan that you can refer back to is essential to staying on track to pay […]

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By Vittorio Mena OD, MS

Oct. 21, 2020

Practice loans can help you make the kinds of investments that provide better care for patients, and, ultimately, greater profitability. Here are the major loans I have taken out, and how I am managing paying off these loans to limit my interest payments.

Shortly after graduation, I took out a loan for $96,100 with Bankers Healthcare Group. I also had student loans still being paid off. I took out this loan to help pay for equipment in my new practice, including an OCT, corneal topographer, multiple retinomaxs, other hand-held devices related to sports vision and frame inventory.

I Chose a Finance Company Instead of a Bank
I partnered with a financial planning company that helps manage debt, and created a plan that allows me to pay off the loan the fastest way possible without adding any additional payments. On the path I was previously on, I was paying $3,177 a month and I would finish paying off all of my loans by 2045, paying $74,200 in interest. After working with financial advisors, a plan was created that will allow me to have the loans paid off in less than six years, saving $18,000 in interest! The monthly payments are the same as before, the way the money is allocated towards the loans is the difference. The math is based on interest, principle and the minimum payments.

The reason I chose to take the loan with Bankers Healthcare Group, and not with a bank, is because this loan is specialized for health-care professionals only. After the loan agents ask you a few questions about your profession and income, and the amount you need, you get approval within 24 hours and the funds come in as soon as three days after that. Another added benefit is that these loans do not appear on your credit score and are at a fixed interest rate.

Editor’s Note: Vision One Credit Union provides loans targeted especially for eyecare practices.

Work with a Financial Planner to Create a Personalized Plan
My financial planner, Giovanni Savo, helped me create a personalized plan to pay off debt in the fastest way possible. He used a complex program to analyze and formulate an individual plan, which focused both on my student and business debt. A written plan that you can refer back to is essential to staying on track to pay off the debt as soon as possible.

Lifestyle Sacrifices Are Worth It to Pay Off Your Debt Faster
Every extra dollar you can put toward the loans is another day faster paying that loan off. That means I do not go out to a fancy dinner every Friday night, and I skip that Starbucks coffee every day and make coffee or tea at home. Little savings here and there compounded overtime lead to great results.

I Even Stayed On Track Paying Off My Loans During the Pandemic
Practicing in New Jersey, our office closed for examinations for about an entire month. However, the office was open to answer phone calls and for patients to pick up glasses and contact lenses and place to place new orders. When I came back to the practice, I only saw medical cases until our state gave us the green light to return back to routine care. I was fortunate enough that I did not need to defer payments, and I was able to collect unemployment with the added bonus stimulus check.

The Right Purchases Facilitated By Loans Can Make a Huge Impact on Success
Targeted equipment purchases can prime your practice to provide better care and to grow your patient base. For example, if you are in an area with more of an elderly population, a dry eye practice or low vision services can be the most suitable, and you would benefit from buying equipment such as the LipiView and LipiFlow systems. Or if you see many children in the practice, as I do, incorporating vision therapy or myopia management can become a way to provide better care while growing revenues. A corneal topographer is an equipment investment that makes a big difference to a myopia management niche.

Pay Off Debt & Reinvest Money Back Into the Practice
“It takes money to make money,” they say, but it is not the amount of money you make, but what you do with it. That might mean the profits you earn you reinvest right back into your practice or you use those profits for raises for employees who go above and beyond.

In addition to using the money generated from my loans to pay off my debt, I created a winning strategy that reinvests money into the practice. Because of this, the loans have enabled me to become more successful and to deliver better care for my patients.

 

Vittorio Mena OD, MS, is a partner with Optical Academy. To contact him:menavitt@gmail.com

 

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Adapting to a New World By Dropping Vision Plans: How to Do it Successfully https://www.reviewob.com/adapting-to-a-new-world-by-dropping-vision-plans-how-to-do-it-successfully/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 20:12:31 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=37821 Sponsored Content By Nicolas Gilberg, OD People and businesses alike are being forced to adapt to unpredictable and transformative circumstances this year. I’ve seen it from big businesses to small practices— including how the forces at work in 2020 are affecting eyecare providers. Look at the big picture: Twitter’s employees are allowed to work from home forever, and you’ve probably had a get-together with family or friends via Zoom this year. We’re doing things differently. While the changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic are significant, they’re not the only developments forcing ECPs to adapt. I’ve seen it first hand: Faced with unique and challenging situations, some ECPs are doing more than acclimate—they’re growing! One way they have been adapting is by evaluating the managed vision plans their practice accepts, and whether each (or any) of these plans makes financial sense for the practice. How ECPs Are Adapting to Industry Changes Amid the pandemic we’re all reflecting on opportunities to implement changes. At Nealberg Consulting Group, we transitioned from an exclusive global health-care company focus to also helping ECPs adjust to the rapidly changing circumstances of the industry in 2020. The pandemic increased costs of doing business for ECPs. Social distancing slows down patient flow and means more time per patient. And disinfection protocols are increasing costs. As a result, many are deciding to join others in dropping vision care plans and are learning how to function without them. This requires, among other things, the use of new technologies to enable qualitative yet affordable patient acquisition. After all, what’s the main benefit of the vision plans you’re in-network with? The free patient acquisition, of course. But is it really free? Think about it: If you’re in-network, then you’re contracted to accept a certain amount—often less than your customary fee. Let’s say you usually charge $100 for a routine exam, but a vision-plan referred patient generates a contracted amount of $50. You essentially paid a vision plan $50 for a new patient. Wouldn’t it be better to pay Google $20 to acquire an out-of-network patient and net $80 in profit? It’s cost-effective, out-of-network patient acquisition like this that’s giving practices room to breathe, and even grow, this year— and beyond. Is Dropping One or More Vision Plans Right for Your Practice? With Nealberg Consulting Group, I often help practices drop vision plans and lower patient acquisition costs in the process. And one […]

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By Nicolas Gilberg, OD

People and businesses alike are being forced to adapt to unpredictable and transformative circumstances this year. I’ve seen it from big businesses to small practices— including how the forces at work in 2020 are affecting eyecare providers.

Look at the big picture: Twitter’s employees are allowed to work from home forever, and you’ve probably had a get-together with family or friends via Zoom this year. We’re doing things differently. While the changes brought by the coronavirus pandemic are significant, they’re not the only developments forcing ECPs to adapt.

I’ve seen it first hand: Faced with unique and challenging situations, some ECPs are doing more than acclimate—they’re growing! One way they have been adapting is by evaluating the managed vision plans their practice accepts, and whether each (or any) of these plans makes financial sense for the practice.

How ECPs Are Adapting to Industry Changes
Amid the pandemic we’re all reflecting on opportunities to implement changes. At Nealberg Consulting Group, we transitioned from an exclusive global health-care company focus to also helping ECPs adjust to the rapidly changing circumstances of the industry in 2020. The pandemic increased costs of doing business for ECPs. Social distancing slows down patient flow and means more time per patient. And disinfection protocols are increasing costs.

As a result, many are deciding to join others in dropping vision care plans and are learning how to function without them. This requires, among other things, the use of new technologies to enable qualitative yet affordable patient acquisition.

After all, what’s the main benefit of the vision plans you’re in-network with? The free patient acquisition, of course.

But is it really free? Think about it: If you’re in-network, then you’re contracted to accept a certain amount—often less than your customary fee. Let’s say you usually charge $100 for a routine exam, but a vision-plan referred patient generates a contracted amount of $50.

You essentially paid a vision plan $50 for a new patient. Wouldn’t it be better to pay Google $20 to acquire an out-of-network patient and net $80 in profit?

It’s cost-effective, out-of-network patient acquisition like this that’s giving practices room to breathe, and even grow, this year— and beyond.

Is Dropping One or More Vision Plans Right for Your Practice?
With Nealberg Consulting Group, I often help practices drop vision plans and lower patient acquisition costs in the process. And one thing you should know ahead of time: Dropping one or more vision plans is not right for every practice. You need a marketing plan to capture new patients, a communication strategy to retain existing ones and software to make the transition out-of-network easier.

Do you feel up to dedicating time to executing on your marketing plan? Are you looking for a cost-effective way to grow your practice? Then going out-of-network may be right for you.

It’s natural to go for the low hanging fruit that are vision-plan directories. Whether you’re a new graduate opening cold or a more seasoned professional, most health-care providers share the same issue: The need to bring in patients to generate revenue. It’s a do or die situation usually made worse by difficult-to-manage overhead.

It’s how the rat race starts: You set yourself up to be forced to generate revenue. The instinct is to enroll in as many medical insurances and vision plans as possible to have the maximum number of patients. In turn, to see all those patients a practice needs more staff, more space, more equipment, more billing time. The overhead increases and so does the incentive to see more patients.

The result is competing providers forced to see low-paying HMO or vision plans to feed the monster they’ve created. The alternative? Don’t use vision plans to compensate for the lack of a marketing plan. Vision plans are not a marketing tool and should not be used as such.

Using Marketing for Low-Cost, Out-of-Network Patients
Developing a marketing plan that will help you lower acquisition cost with out-of-network patients starts with careful thinking about your practice brand and messaging.

Ask yourself who you are as a practice, as a provider. What is the practice identity? What is the brand? What are the differentiators? Why would a new patient come to see you out-of-network instead of choosing someone in the vision-plan directory? Why would long-term patients stay with you if you drop their plans?

People think of marketing only as choosing a communication channel. Every provider should first choose a message and then work on spreading the word. You need to create your brand story—then and only then you can think about marketing channels to communicate that message.

Maybe people will come see you because you carry a specific frame line. Maybe they will come because they want a luxury office. Maybe because you have a heavy focus on pediatric care. You need to identify why they come see you and tell others.

Crafting your Digital Marketing Plan
This is such a broad topic, but it needs to be addressed. We are in the 21st century. Times have changed. Having a high-traffic physical location is not enough.

Someone might see your practice, but rest assured they will go online to check you out. Your digital identity should reflect that. Every step of the acquisition cycle should be looked at and improved. To drive traffic to your web site, you should use a multifaceted approach:

  • Organic (natural) search engine indexing
  • On-page- and off-page search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Paid advertising (Facebook, Google AdWords, Instagram)
  • Blog posts

SEO is a specialized and costly skill. Many companies promise doctors SEO, but do not deliver. Good SEO relies heavily on engaging, exclusive content. Use some of your free time to write articles and blog posts on your web site. If you have been successful with the previous step, patients will eventually land there.

It’s difficult to be a good critic of your own practice, so I will help you: Many, if not most, optometry web sites look bad. That’s because many providers rely on companies that build white-label web sites that are outdated, visually awful and lack functionalities. What’s worse, their pay-per-month model is expensive in the long run. Stop paying $300 every month. Pay $5,000 to $10,000 once for a custom web site and be done with it.

Your web site should be up to date, both aesthetically and functionally. That means features such as online appointment booking with a platform like Square or buying contact lenses with a solution like Dr. Contact Lens.

Once prospects have done their research on your web site, we reach the stage where patient acquisition conversion happens. Patients should make an appointment online or call your office.

Here we have to address a core issue: Patients will mostly likely ask you if you take their vision plans. If you dropped vision plans, the answer should be “Yes, we do accept it as an out of network/open access provider.” Every office that decides to drop vision plans needs a solution to look up patients out-of-network benefits.

Converting Out-of-Network Patients
Anagram is another tool I’ve found helpful as ECPs transition out-of-network. It’s a software solution that instantly finds and details patients’ out-of-network benefits. You may decide to do that ahead of time or during the patient visit. Anagram will tell you the allowance for the exams and materials for most vision plans.

Best of all, it will file the claim in a few clicks. Patients hate two things: Not knowing what they are going to spend and paperwork. Anagram solves those two issues. Patients will pay the office directly and will receive a check in the mail for the benefit amount.

In my office experience, this is when the magic happens. Showing patients the actual numbers gives them reassurance and gives you legitimacy. Before we started using Anagram, we would convert roughly 50 percent of patients who contacted us—the other half went elsewhere because we would not accept their vision plans. Since we implemented Anagram, our conversion rate for those patients is close to 90 percent.

This makes the transition out of network easier, freeing up time for you to focus on building a marketing plan instead of vision plan administration.

It’s something I’m seeing over and over this year: ECPs looking for an alternative to the current model. And more often than not, they choose to drop vision plans and start selling themselves instead. If it’s right for your practice, there’s certainly a path toward practice growth out-of-network. Especially in 2020.

With your message in place, help from online appointment-booking technology, an up-to-date web site and Anagram in place, you can profitably carry your practice into this new era.

Nicolas Gilberg, OD, is the owner of Dr. Gilberg & Associates and a consultant with the Nealberg Consulting Group. To contact him: ngilberg@ncg.us

 

 

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How My EHR Saves Time & Spurs Growth https://www.reviewob.com/how-my-ehr-saves-time-spurs-growth/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 18:11:32 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=38176 Sponsored Content By Aaron Sako, OD My 20 years of experience in the industry has inspired me to set big goals for my three-location practice in Orange County, Calif. With a mission to improve quality of life by providing the finest in vision care for people of all ages, I rely on robust software that can help me become the premier authority in eyecare and eyewear in our community. Every step of my workflow has been transformed and improved by the efficiency and capabilities of Uprise, our EHR and Practice Management System. Uprise is intuitively designed for the entire patient journey to go smoothly from start to finish. Because the system is cloud-based with built-in patient education, frame data management and patient communication tools, we are more organized, efficient and can grow more quickly. On top of that, the online training portal helps save time in onboarding new hires, which can be a big hurdle for many practices. We now collect money faster, enter jobs quicker and more efficiently, and it keeps the day moving smoother than other systems I’ve used in the past. Before the Appointment Being able to send pre-appointment questionnaires, and having the patient data automatically uploaded into the EHR, is key to reducing data entry and shortening exam times. Patients can update their information quickly in the comfort of their own home, which minimizes clerical errors that come from transferring information written on paper charts, or duplicate data entry tasks for my staff. We also reduce our patients’ in-office waiting time by administering paperwork electronically. This provides our doctors with the most updated medical/eyecare history, current patient medications and chief complaints for new and established patients. Through gaining a better understanding of patients’ lifestyles, we can tailor our recommendations to them. We automatically upload new forms into the patient’s file, which reduces staff time spent inputting data and manually scanning signed documents. Finally, patients can use the patient portal to securely message the office and locate their prescriptions remotely, which is a helping hand for the FTC final contact lens ruling. During the Exam The system’s functionalities were designed to make communication easy for the entire staff when patients are in the practice. For example, it’s easy to navigate making changes to patient demographics on the spot during check-in. Another integral tool when managing multiple doctors and patient visits simultaneously is the appointment status drop-down feature, […]

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By Aaron Sako, OD

My 20 years of experience in the industry has inspired me to set big goals for my three-location practice in Orange County, Calif. With a mission to improve quality of life by providing the finest in vision care for people of all ages, I rely on robust software that can help me become the premier authority in eyecare and eyewear in our community. Every step of my workflow has been transformed and improved by the efficiency and capabilities of Uprise, our EHR and Practice Management System.

Uprise is intuitively designed for the entire patient journey to go smoothly from start to finish. Because the system is cloud-based with built-in patient education, frame data management and patient communication tools, we are more organized, efficient and can grow more quickly. On top of that, the online training portal helps save time in onboarding new hires, which can be a big hurdle for many practices. We now collect money faster, enter jobs quicker and more efficiently, and it keeps the day moving smoother than other systems I’ve used in the past.

Before the Appointment
Being able to send pre-appointment questionnaires, and having the patient data automatically uploaded into the EHR, is key to reducing data entry and shortening exam times. Patients can update their information quickly in the comfort of their own home, which minimizes clerical errors that come from transferring information written on paper charts, or duplicate data entry tasks for my staff. We also reduce our patients’ in-office waiting time by administering paperwork electronically. This provides our doctors with the most updated medical/eyecare history, current patient medications and chief complaints for new and established patients.

Through gaining a better understanding of patients’ lifestyles, we can tailor our recommendations to them. We automatically upload new forms into the patient’s file, which reduces staff time spent inputting data and manually scanning signed documents. Finally, patients can use the patient portal to securely message the office and locate their prescriptions remotely, which is a helping hand for the FTC final contact lens ruling.

During the Exam
The system’s functionalities were designed to make communication easy for the entire staff when patients are in the practice. For example, it’s easy to navigate making changes to patient demographics on the spot during check-in. Another integral tool when managing multiple doctors and patient visits simultaneously is the appointment status drop-down feature, which allows us to track the patient throughout their visit. We can check and track how long patients have been in each station, the length of time spent with their provider, and which rooms are occupied and available. During this pandemic, it has played an important role in making sure our patients are safe.

During the exam, our ODs frequently use the copy forward option for common codes and view summaries of each category like trends, charts and history of Rx. Just before the patient leaves, we can send over patient education and prescriptions easily through the patient portal, so the patient always has access to them.

Optical & Checkout
Linking Uprise with CLx and VisionWeb’s ordering system allows us to process orders quickly and minimizes double entry and order errors. Under one login, we can track statuses, add vendors, create special discounts and upload frames into our database. We enjoy customizing the system to our specific dispensary needs, which can differ greatly from practice to practice.

The claim-tracking feature within Uprise is helpful for seeing the full history of claims; who submitted, who entered and who placed them. Checking out the patient is a smooth process because the doctor fees and optical charges can be merged into one organized invoice.

During COVID-19
Uprise only requires a computer and internet connection and all updates occur automatically the next time we login, which is a big reason why we could continue to serve patients effectively. When our practice was closed, we answered telephone calls using Weave, logged into Uprise from home, consulted with patients virtually, updated appointment times and sold patients contact lenses and glasses remotely. The best part was that our leadership team was able to handle all three offices from a single location by simply changing office location in the Uprise Software. Another benefit of utilizing cloud-based software is that we no longer need to maintain a server in the office, which can be costly over the years.

Overall, I’m looking forward to exponentially growing our patient base and acquiring new practices over the next 10 years with the help of Uprise.

Aaron Sako, OD, is the owner of La Paz Optometric Center in Laguna Hills, Calif. To contact him: aaron.sako@percalliance.com 

 

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Skincare & Eyes Patient Education: Ingredients to Avoid, Products to Recommend https://www.reviewob.com/skincare-eyes-patient-education-ingredients-to-avoid-products-to-recommend/ Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:15:12 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=35822 How to guide patients to safe & comfortable cosmetic use.

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By Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA

July 8, 2020

Many of your patients use facial skincare products that are negatively impacting their eyes.

Here is the essential patient education to provide about the skincare products to choose, and the ingredients to avoid, to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable.

An Essential Conversation for All & Especially for Dry Eye & CL Wearers
For those with dry eye and/or contact-lens wearers, it is important to ask which products are being used for the face and eyes. If there is makeup debris around the eyelids, it is an easy conversation starter to discuss the importance of products and makeup removal. For my severe dry eye patients, it is even more important to optimize the ocular surface.

Many cosmetic products contain chemicals which may increase ocular irritation, blepharitis, meibomian gland toxicity and even cause, or exacerbate, dry eye disease.

Most women wear cosmetics and both men and women wash their face with a product, so most everyone uses cosmetic products around the eyes. Thus, it is pertinent to discuss product use with all patients, not only those with ocular allergies. However, if a patient has allergies and/or is sensitive to products, it is even more important to discuss specific products.

Any product that a person uses on their face and around the eyes has the potential to cause problems. Men may think that since they are not using “cosmetics” they don’t need to worry about ingredients. However, the products they use may have ingredients that are unfriendly to the ocular surface. For example, a face wash, anti-aging product or sunscreen could be irritating for both men and women.

Teach Patients to Be Savvy About Reading Labels
A significant problem is that, according to the FDA, “ingredients must be declared in descending order of predominance.” However, any ingredient less than 1 percent of total volume may be listed in any order.

The most common eye irritants are:
Alcohol
Argireline (acetyl hexapeptinde-3, Lipotec)
Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK)
Butylene Glycol
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde donors
Isopropyl Cloprostenate
Parabens
Phenoxyethanol
Retinol

It is beneficial to educate about ingredients first, and provide patients a list or resources of ingredients to avoid. I then recommend specific eyelid hygiene products for my patients.

Specific Products to Recommend
I recommend specific products and provide a convenient method for patients to obtain these products. Products can be obtained online or ordered through your office and shipped directly to the patient.

I recommend Èyes Are The Story, and have received great feedback from my patients who have tried these products. This brand currently offers mascara, liquid eyeliner, facial cleanser and facial serum.

Blinc mascara with tube technology has been beneficial for those with dry eye and contact lens wearers. The EyeEco products, including the E9 moisturizer and facial hydrating spray, are also helpful for those with dry eye including severe disease.

I also recommend the Ocusoft and Zoria products, including the lash intensifying serum, and have received great feedback from patients.

We Love Eyes has wonderful products for cleansing, makeup removal and offers specific products for men.

Bruder Hygienic Eyelid Care Kit offers products to remove bacteria and debris and a compress to unclog blocked glands.

Whichever brand patients choose, I recommend makeup replacement every 1-3 months. If a patient has an eye infection, immediate replacement of makeup is imperative.

Along with recommending specific brands, I let patients know about these two resources for learning more about the ingredients in cosmetics:

Think Dirty App

Skin Deep by EWG 

Cosmetic Use Can Impact CL Best for Patient
Makeup removers and mascaras can alter contact-lens parameters to differing degrees, and may affect the fit and overall performance of contact lenses. If a patient presents with contact lens discomfort and/or ocular dryness, it is helpful to inquire about their product regimen. A tip is to have patients bring in all products (including contact lens solutions) to verify that the ingredients are non-toxic.

If a patient is a heavy makeup user, consider prescribing a daily replacement contact lens (if parameters allow) or a lens that is unlikely to have parameter changes.

A recent study demonstrated that moist heat compress treatment is an effective first-line treatment for contact lens wearers with discomfort. Those who used a Bruder Moist Heat Eye Compress daily had significantly improved meibomian gland function and experienced steeper declines in their overall Eye Discomfort Assessment scores. They ultimately increased comfortable wear time of their contact lenses by up to three hours.

Patients often inquire about which products to use. It is beneficial to have specific product recommendations for eye and facial products for use with contact lenses. Providing brochures and web site information is most beneficial.

With the right guidance, patients can safely–and enjoyably–wear and benefit from makeup and skincare products.

Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO, FSLS, FBCLA, is principal optometrist at University of California, Davis Eye Center. To contact her: drbarnett@ucdavis.edu

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4 Common Pandemic Exam Room Questions–& How I’m Responding https://www.reviewob.com/4-common-pandemic-exam-room-questions-how-im-responding/ Tue, 13 Oct 2020 14:04:59 +0000 https://www.reviewob.com/?p=37541 Addressing patients' new pressing concerns with practice-building responses.

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By Dave Anderson, OD

Oct. 7, 2020

The pandemic has brought with it a slew of anxieties. Some of those anxieties may be expressed to you in the exam room in the form of questions. Here are four questions that are coming up frequently in my exam room, and how I respond to the patient to provide solutions.

Is it safe to wear contact lenses or are glasses safer?
Some media reports indicated risk related to contracting COVID through ocular tissue and concluded having contact lenses in the eye were unsafe. Additionally, the concern some patients have is “touching around their face” and felt that wearing contacts would cause them to touch their face more.

My response: I explain to the patient that everything is a risk, but simply wearing contact lenses poses no increased risk for exposure or contraction of COVID. Additionally, there have been studies published and reported by the American Optometric Association Contact Lens & Cornea division that the risk is no different than not wearing contacts as long as proper wearing habits and proper hygiene is performed. Additionally, with glasses fogging up, it is actually more likely that someone would touch their face to adjust the glasses or mask compared to wearing contact lenses.

Related Product & Service Recommendations: We are actively offering new fits for contact lenses, and promoting the health benefits of daily disposable contacts with a superior safety profile compared to lenses that require cleaning. We have a high daily disposable lens patient base, with over 60 percent of our patients in that modality, but the remaining 40 percent have been offered the chance to move to a daily lens for increased comfort.

Does blue light protection help my eyes?
People are using digital devices and computers more than ever due to more work from home and fewer activities outside the home (travel, movies, out to eat).

My response: There are lots of studies on the topic, and honestly, I don’t think we will truly know the answer the question for many years. We know the damage UV causes, and this is closely related, but like UV, if we are exposed in low doses with low intensity, there may be little damage. One benefit from blue light is controlling our sleep rhythms, and as a result, many phone manufacturers have a blue filter incorporated into their screens to ensure the user’s sleep patterns are not disrupted.

So, based on this, and the potential harm, I tell the patient that I do think if you are exposed to blue light at a high level, it is worth investing in protection in your glasses. I also think having a pair, even if you don’t need glasses, could be helpful, but it also depends on the amount of exposure. With that said, for those who need glasses, they all should have non-glare treatments to see their best, and adding a blue light blocking layer to that is an easy thing and not much additional cost.

Related Product & Service Recommendations: We offer anti-reflective or non-glare treatments with blue light protection from all manufacturers, so regardless of the lens type needed, the patient will have an option to have additional blue light blocking with their glasses

This is a big focus of our staff. They are trained to ask a simple question: “How much time do you spend on a computer or digital device during the day?” This opens up the discussion of blue light and the potential need to add additional protection. They also are saying to patients, “Since you need non-glare coating on your glasses, the addition of blue light blocking may also be beneficial.”

Why do I keep getting so many styes?
With the increase in computer use, and fewer recreational activities, patients are glued to their work station computer all day. This can result in the development of styes.

My response: This is likely due to a few factors, namely that with the current environment of non-stop computer use, your eyes are taking the brunt of this work change. Specifically, while using a computer or digital device, your blink rate drops significantly. As a result, the oil glands on your eye lids become hardened, thickened and become blocked in some cases. The inflammation process in some cases leads to a stye, much like how a pimple forms on the skin. The issue is that your computer is not going to go away, so we need to improve your tear function. The first step is taking breaks while working on the computer and working hard to blink more completely and regularly. The second step is to work on the oil glands to create a better functioning gland.

Related Product & Service Recommendations: Depending on the severity, the options are plentiful. With nearly every patient, I recommend a Bruder heat mask to use daily as a prevention, or to help with the current oil blockage. I also offer several different nutraceuticals, including Omega 3 fish oil to help with the thickness of the oil glands. If the blockage or symptoms are beyond any mild stage, I follow-up with a dry eye work-up, including photos of the patient’s oil glands and a non-invasive tear break-up measurement. These help guide the next step, which may include TearCare or MiBo Thermoflo treatment to remove the oil blockage.

My support staff are all trained to say a few simple things about dry eye or styes, which include: “With more computer use, it’s really tough on the eyes in many ways. Our office can help if you are having dryness or other computer-related issues.”

How do I prevent fogging of my glasses?
Having to wear masks is a clear reason for this, and it is a daily frustration for patients.

My response: Sadly, I laugh and point to my glasses that are usually in somewhat of a level of fog by this point. However, I do offer a few suggestions. The first thing I say is that any of the anti-fog treatments available work, but are only a temporary solutions, and not something I want to do all day, but we offer these if you want to try.

I then show them my mask, and how I have it positioned on me. I have a tightly fitting mask, with a wire over the nose that is taped to my face and my glasses sit just at the edge of the mask to keep it sealed down. Finally, I bridge the conversation over to contact lenses and offer them a fitting for contacts.

Related product and service recommendations: I also let patients know that there are now spectacle lenses, such as Shamir Glacier Anti-Fog and Essilor’s Optifog lenses, that prevent fogging.

Anti-Fog sprays and wipes are available in my office, several different brands mostly due to availability. And of course, contact lenses, typically daily disposable for most patients.

My support staff answers by selling the anti-fog spray and anti-fog spectacle lenses. They are trained to let patients know that the anti-fog treatment sprays are only temporary, and remind them to always ask us first before putting any treatment on their glasses so they don’t ruin their lens treatments or warranties. My staff also focuses on the advantages of contact lenses over glasses and the overall safety of contact lenses, even during a pandemic.


Dave Anderson, OD
, is a partner with Miamisburg Vision Care in Miamisburg, Ohio, and a partner with wEyes Guys. To contact: doca@burgvision.com

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