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Red, Scratchy Eyes Just Aren’t Cute

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Eye drops, fish oil tablets and punctal plugs: No, these aren’t garage bands you never heard of. They all treat the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. So much sexier, right? Turns out, there are only two prescription eye drops approved for long-term use: Restasis from Allergan and Xiidra from Shire. Another Rx medication could soon give them a run for their money — Novaliq’s CyclASol, a clear, ophthalmic solution of cyclosporine entering Phase 3 studies. Dry eye disease can be complex, so the good news is there are a wide range of options available depending on the severity. Whatever your preference or your patient’s needs, there is a solution that works.


Oasis Medical

Oasis TEARS Lubricant Eye Drops, Oasis LID & LASH Eyelid & Lash Cleansing Pads, Oasis REST & RELIEF Hot & Cold Eye Mask

(844) 820-8940 oasismedical.com


The Mentholatum Company

Rohto Dry-Aid Dry Eye Relief Lubricant Eye Drops

(877) 636-2677  rohtoeyedrops.com


Allergan

Restasis MultiDose Gel Drops

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(844) 469-8327 restasis.com


Beaver-Visitec 

Extend Absorbable Synthetic Implants

(866) 906-8080 beaver-visitec.com


Shire

Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution)

(844) 694-4747 xiidra.com


Lacrivera (a division of Stephens Instruments)

VeraPlug FlexFit Punctal Occluder

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(855) 857-0518 lacrivera.com


Bausch + Lomb 

Lacrisert prescription lubricant

(800) 828-9030 bausch.com


Smart Ways to Sell Dry Eye Products

Dr. Jeffry Gerson 
GRIN EYE CARE,OLATHE, KS

If a patient comes in with symptoms of dry eye we start with a prescription for eye drops like Restasis or Xiidra they can pick up at a pharmacy. I usually pair the drop with a steroid like Lotemax which can offer immediate relief. I ask the patient to come back in six weeks and generally there’s improvement. Restasis and Xiidra on their own can take several weeks to take effect so using them with a steroid is common practice. Some people don’t want to take medicine or they find Rx drops too expensive, so I jump into supplements. I suggest patients use nutritional products such as a fish oil like Nordic Naturals or a tear drop like EZ Tears. For eyelid-based dry eye, I routinely put in punctal plugs to make tears stay in their eyes longer. Both Restasis and Xiidra offer rebate programs, so patients with insurance need only pay between $30-$40 a month. If they don’t have insurance and have to pay $300 a month, then I suggest Serum Tears. Patients go to a lab to get their blood drawn and centrifuged to separate the blood components. It’s mixed with saline and diluted into a bottle of preserved artificial tears that can be kept in a freezer at home for about $100 a month. I usually find something that will work so finances are not a limiting factor.

 

Dr. Michael Cooper SOLINSKY EYECARE, WEST HARTFORD, CT

For many of my mild to moderate dry eye disease patients, artificial tears alone, or in combination with other therapeutic treatments, are often my first line of therapy to minimize visual fluctuations, dryness, and related discomfort.  However, the effects of some artificial tears can often be short-lived, only providing temporary relief and require repeated instillations. I have been recommending Rohto Dry-aid to many of my dry eye patients because it has been shown to be fast-acting. It can offer consistent and continuous dry eye relief and can protect the ocular surface throughout the day.

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This article originally appeared in the January 2018 edition of INVISION.   

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Better Vision

It’s Time to Think About Winterizing Those Eyes

Products that tackle the vision issues associated with cold weather sports and how to sell them.

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WHEN IT COMES TO a winter sport like hockey, patients can buy specialist sports gear for protection. But, for other winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, motocross and mountain biking, patients may prefer to wear a goggle or prescription sunglass in a wrap frame for maximum coverage. These days, lens technologies are so effective they can offer color enhancement on the slopes and highlight moguls in any conditions.

Bollé

Cobalt with polarized TNS lens.

(800) 423-3537, bolle.com

Wiley X

WX Wave Climate Control series with gloss demi/polarized emearald green mirror lens with an amber base.

(800) 776-7842, wileyx.com

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Pyramex

Venture Gear tactical line of ballistic-rated eyewear, the Brevard frame with Forest Gray lens.

(800) 736-8673, pyramexsafety.com

Scott Sports

SCOTT LCG Compact Goggle with light sensitive blue chrome lens.

(800) 292-5874, scott-sports.com

UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Tinted Helmet Visor

(205) 934-4011, uab.edu

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SPY Optic

SPY Legacy with a gold Spectra lens.

(800) 779-3937, spyoptic.com

SportRx

Prescription snow goggle insert that accommodates corrective lenses.

(888) 831-5817, sportrx.com

Smith Optics

4D MAG Goggle with ChromaPop Sun Red Mirror lens.

(888) 206-2995, smithoptics.com

Smart Ways To Sell Eyewear for Winter Sports

Rob Tavakoli, Sportrx, San Diego, CA

For us, eyewear for winter sports is a growing category. We design and manufacture our own prescription insert that fits into any ski goggle. We sell this complete insert mounted to an Rx lens direct to the consumer or through the 3Os channel. Smith sells an interesting concept with its optical ODS adapter system that fits inside a goggle and most brands manufacture goggles that fit over glasses. I think the Anon M4 Cylindrical goggle is the best. Fogging is constantly an issue for people in the winter, so we recommend putting a good anti-fog coating on an Rx insert. Color enhancing lenses, like ChromaPop from Smith and Prizm from Oakley, work like magic on the snow by offering clarity and contrast to skiers.

Chris Merciez, Envision, Boulder, CO

Our doctors are avid skiers, so they generally talk to the patient about skiing when they’re in the room with them. This is helpful and offers a seamless transition for us to get them what they need. Many of our patients see all types of sports eyewear when they’re on the slopes so they’re already aware of what they want when they come in. We stock all types of brands – Smith goggles, Zeal goggles, Maui Jim and Oakley. Zeal, Bollé and Smith have designed an insert that goes behind the ski goggle and Smith offers a turbo fan option to prevent fogging. If the patient doesn’t want a goggle, then they may like the idea of a prescription sunglass that works for both skiing and regular wear.

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Better Vision

EHR Systems Have More Enhancements Than Ever Before

Bells and whistles your paper charts definitely don’t possess.

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ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS have come a long way. First Insight’s EyeClinic Imaging consolidates patient data, images, and diagnostics into one cloud-based system. Similarly, FoxFire’s Image Management module collects diagnostic images directly into the EHR. Compulink’s Artificial Intelligence runs Advantage EHR which includes built-in chief complaints and ICD-10 coded diagnoses. ABB Optical integrated RevolutionEHR’s SmartFlow ordering technology. EHRs can also improve accounts receivable and help you run a more efficient practice.

Foxfire Systems Group

Foxfire EHR with Image Management

(800) 333-4176, foxfiresg.com

Compulink

Eyecare Advantage EHR

(800) 456- 4522, compulinkadvantage.com

DrChrono

iPad and iPhone EHR

(844) 569-8628, drchrono.com

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ABB Optical Group

Glimpse Mobile tracks business analytics.

(904) 503-9616 glimpselive.com

RevolutionEHR

RevolutionEHR with SmartFlow ordering technology

(877) 738-3471, revolutionehr.com

Weave

Weave Optometry for patient communications

(888) 579-5668, getweave.com

First Insight

MaximEyes EHR with Eye Clinic Imaging

(800) 920-1940, first-insight.com

Smart Ways To Use EHR Enhancements

Dr. Brian O’Donnell, New Era Eye Care, Shavertown, PA

I’m on my fourth EHR system since I changed my practice in 2012 to make it more efficient. Part of that process was to invest in a new EHR. After visiting VEE and interviewing vendors I went with Foxfire. They provided a feature I wanted — to be able to see recalls and identify certain patients for promotions. They also had a tremendous integration platform for image management and data analytics. I liked that they did billing in-house too. They have their own clearing house within the system that is outstanding. Both the practice management side and the medical side of the EHR system got upgrades recently and they went flawlessly. Since I started with Foxfire in 2014, the system has been overhauled many times. Each time they carry out training so we’re well prepared.

Dr. Brandon Chester, Chester Eye Center, Chillicothe, OH

We studied up before we transitioned to First Insight’s MaximEyes EHR in 2011. It puts everything at our disposal and lets us quickly look up patients and run different reports based on diagnoses. We were one of the first to adopt their cloud-based EyeClinic Imaging software when it came out in 2017. You can click a button to launch it from within the EHR system and view all images from a test result. Now we don’t have to scan as much data as we used to. Once we’re done with a test the image is saved to a patient’s file and we can pull it up on screen in the exam room and show our patients comparison pictures. First Insight does a good job staying on top of different Medicare requirements and the MIPS program is built into their EHR system.

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Better Vision

Teleoptometry Tools Redefining the Meaning of ‘Phoning it In’

With about 200 different telehealth models being run today, ECPs have to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

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OCULAR TELEHEALTH, WHICH delivers eyecare remotely through medical equipment and telecommunications technology, is a hot-button issue right now. The question of whether it can offer a viable alternative to an in-person comprehensive exam is being intensely debated. What’s driving its progress are rising health care expenses as compared to the lower costs and added convenience it offers to patients.

There are about 200 different telehealth models being run these days in the U.S. and abroad, says Vitor Pamplona, founder of EyeNetra, which enables its customers to build their own telehealth models. And they are all different and generally protective of their own way of doing business. “The beauty of the state of vision care today is that anyone can build their own fully functioning telehealth system, using state-of-the-art tools like EHR-enabled AI-based voice assistants, blockchain storage and crypto vision benefits all the way down to the most basic one-on-one patient coaching approaches,” Pamplona explains. “Software is cheap. Technology is cheap. The field is booming but in a very diverse and decentralized way.”

While some states, such as Indiana and Connecticut, prohibit ocular telehealth, the majority allow it. One of the fastest growing entrants is 20/20NOW, which has completed 78 installations of its Ocular Telehealth Solution and expects to complete 125 by year-end. “Optical retail has always embraced ocular telehealth,” says Chuck Scott, CEO of 20/20NOW. “We are now seeing a trend within private optometry to utilize ocular telehealth within their practice, primarily for practice expansion, revenue improvement and better work/life balance.”

Given an abundance of options, the challenge now facing ECPs is to decide which tools, if any, add value to their services.

Smart Vision Labs

SV One, a handheld, smartphone-based autorefractor.

(212) 796-6124, smartvisionlabs.com

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Digital Optometrics

DigitalOptometrics’ Teleoptometry

Eye Exam (877) 506-0002, digitaloptometrics.com

D-EYE

D-EYE’s Smartphone-based Retinal Imaging System

(401) 473-6323, d-eyecare.com

20/20NOW

Ocular Telehealth Solution

(844) 843-2020, for2020now.com

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RightEye

Tests called Functional Vision EyeQ, Brain Health EyeQ, Reading EyeQ and Sports Vision EyeQ.

(301) 979-7970, righteye.com

EyeNetra

Digital Lensometer

(617) 684-5680, eyenetra.com

Smart Ways To Use Teleoptometry Tools

Joseph Ianni, Swift Eyewear, Massena, NY

The option to find doctors locally was limited so we purchased hardware from DigitalOptometrics to provide eye exams. We book a 30-minute complete eye exam and the system can accommodate walk-ins too. It has proved to be an amazing solution and we’ve carried out hundreds of exams since we went live in January. Our technician carries out pre-tests and then we videoconference in a doctor who looks at the results and can control the phoropter remotely and then sends us a prescription electronically. Our patients love the seamless experience and they’re happy they don’t have to travel to see a doctor.

Brian Chou, OD, Revision Optometry San Diego, CA

These are interesting times as technology impacts the evolution of optometry. Many new forms of teleoptometry are startups and like all startups some will succeed and some will fail and some could even get their technology acquired. The alternative distributors of online glasses and contact lenses are focused on giving prescription renewals online. More ambitious technologies offer digital retinal imaging using AI to diagnose diabetic retinopathy. We used to think autorefractors were a threat and now we see optometrists embracing them in their practices to improve efficiency. 20/20NOW is an enterprising outfit that helps clinics and opticals by giving non-dilated eye exams to patients so they can get a prescription when the doctor is not present. Stanton Optical allows patients in all its offices to videoconference with a remote doctor. So, looking to the future, I do believe there’s an opportunity for ODs to use online screenings to drive patients to use their services.

Ericson Quintanilla, Greenleaf Optical Compton, CA

We use the SV One from Smart Vision Labs to get a prescription for patients who don’t have access to a doctor or the fee to see a doctor. For $40 we give them an eye exam and free readers. Letters from the device are transferred to my laptop, where I add comments and send an email to some doctors in New York. I normally get a prescription back from them within 10 minutes. The patient then buys their glasses and single vision lenses from us. I also work with an online insurance company, Patch, that allows me to use their vision benefits.

 

 

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