What You Can Do About Cataracts

Cataracts are one of the most common causes  of vision loss. In fact, by age 75, about 70  percent of people have cataracts. However,  cataracts typically develop slowly, so symptoms may not be immediately  apparent. Over time, cataracts can cause vision to become blurry, cloudy dim,  or dull and can interfere with daily activities.  The good news is that cataracts are treatable  with cataract surgery.

August is Cataract Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to get EyeSmart about  cataract risks, symptoms, prevention tips, and when it might be time for  surgery. If you think you may have cataracts, be sure to talk to your  ophthalmologist about your options.

It’s also important to make sure you get regular eye exams to monitor the  development of cataracts or other eye conditions. Seniors age 65 and older may  qualify for an eye exam and up to 1 year of care at no out of pocket cost  through EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the  American Academy of Ophthalmology. See if you or a loved one qualifies by  visiting the online referral center at www.eyecareamerica.org.

Make Eye Drops a Practice Builder

Natural homeopathic eye drops can be part of your treatment plan for a variety of ocular conditions. A key to success: Offer drops for sale, and make it easy for patients to comply.

Conditions such as dry eye, irritation from contact lens wear, cataracts and the occurrence of floaters afflicts a large and diverse cross section of optometric patients. Among the treatment plans you can offer for these conditions are homeopathic eye drops from Natural Ophthalmics. If you start selling the eye drops, you will find that they are a patient loyalty builder, with patients happy to find relief for ongoing conditions, and a revenue-generator, to boot.

Introduce the Eye Drops As a Standard Treatment Option

Natural Ophthalmics offers a wide range of products that are effective with floaters, cataracts, dry eye and contact lens wear. You can have your patients use the oral eye spray (Total Ocular Spray) and the company’s cataract eye drops for eight months and then have them back for a follow-up visit. At this point the least improvement in acuity is half a line better with the best improvement three full lines. You can recommend this protocol to patients who do not want to have surgery or have eye conditions that would cause a higher risk of vision loss post-surgery.

Natural Ophthalmic products come as drops, pellets and an oral spray. For people with dry eye syndrome you can prescribe tear stimulant drops, for cataracts you can prescribe Total Ocular Spray and cataract drops or cataract pellets. For corneal staining, you can prescribe Ortho-K Thick for night time and Ortho K Thin for daytime with or without contact lens wear.

The biggest advantage of these products is that there are virtually no side effects and all of the eye drops can be used with or without contact lenses on. There are no steroids in them, and they are only sold through professionals.

Start with a Conservative Investment

You can start with a $350 dollar inventory, but you could start with just one Natural Ophthalmics product at a time and gradually add eye drops and eye pellets for other conditions as your patients became more confident with the products. Doing it this way, your original investment could be as low as $60 with a net of $60.

Natural Ophthalmics has a recommended price for their products. None of their products retail for more than $24.75. With the correct presentation of the products, you should break even with the $350 investment in three weeks.  

Tie Eye Drops to Practice Branding

The holistic branding may be great for your practice. You may let your patients know that you provide holistic care, not just eyecare, with point-of-sale products and show a DVD provided by Natural Ophthalmics in your reception room.

Educate Patients

First, you should ask the patient if their symptoms are worth using the products. If they say no, then you can suggest procedures they can do at home and over-the-counter products. If they say yes, then you can explain how the products work.   

When patients purchase products for eye or general health conditions, you should tell them to call if they feel the product didn’t help with their symptoms and you should consider giving them full credit towards future services.

Controlling Risk Factors May Reduce Risk for Cataracts

Controlling modifiable risk factors such as hyperglycemia, hypertension, and smoking may reduce the risk of developing cataracts, according to a population-based cross-sectional study published in Ophthalmology. Out of the total 5945 participants, 468 had cortical-only lens opacities, 217 had nuclear-only lens opacities, 27 had posterior subcapsular (PSC)-only opacities, and 364 had mixed-type lens opacities. Mean age for cortical lens opacities was 62.4, for nuclear lens opacities was 69.4, for PSC lens opacities was 59.1, and for mixed-lens opacities was 70.9.

Smoking was identified as a risk factor for nuclear lens opacities, but that being a former smoker was not significantly associated with this type of cataract. Diabetes and hypertension are risk factors for PSC opacities.

Cataract surgery is probably one of the most common surgical procedures that Medicare pays for. Thus, controlling hyperglycemia and diabetes, hypertension and uncontrolled blood pressure, and smoking will prevent lens opacities.