Archive for November 2016

The Hazards of Decorative Contact Lenses

Decorative lenses (also called “fashion,” “costume” and “colored” contact lenses) can only be legally purchased from a seller that requires a prescription. Even then, the lenses should be fitted by an ophthalmologist or optometrist to prevent injury.

Without putting a damper on fall festivities, you might want to gently remind patients that they are risking corneal scratches and infections, conjunctivitis, and even blindness when they accessorize non-prescription decorative contact lenses. Many people don’t realize that contact lenses, even ones that don’t correct vision, are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Stores and internet sites sell decorative lenses without a prescription.

Street vendor, hair salons, convenience stores and internet sites that sell decorative lenses without a prescription often do not provide adequate instruction on how to clean and care for the lenses. That’s a problem, because bacterial infections can develop within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly, according to Bernard P. Lepri, an FDA optometrist in the agency’s Contact Lens and Retinal Devices branch.

The problem isn’t with the contacts themselves, says Dr. Lepri, but with the way people use them – without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified professional, and without appropriate follow-up care.

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How to Break up with Patients: “It’s You, Not Me.”

There are legitimate reasons to break up with a patient—non-payment, frequent cancellations and rudeness, just to name a few—but you need to do it right to protect yourself and the patient.

Here’s how to avoid a claim of patient abandonment:

Document. Wait until there is evidence in a patient’s record of a problem to take action, and give the patient a chance to modify their behavior before terminating. Sometimes, patients do not realize how their actions impact practice operations.

Give the patient time to find alternative care. Allow the patient 30 days to find another provider, unless the person is in the middle of a course of treatment. In that case, it usually makes sense to wait until the course is complete to terminate the relationship. Some states have specific laws regarding minimum notice periods.

Provide written notice. Keep it short and sweet; just put in writing that you believe it is best to discontinue the relationship. Address requests for details on a case-by-case basis, supported by documentation. Do not discuss issues with patient representatives without appropriate HIPAA documentation. If the patient’s lawyer contacts you, reach out to legal counsel for yourself. In your termination letter, share the date care will end, how the patient can find a new provider, and how to obtain medical records.
In certain situations you might be willing to look the other way when a patient is being difficult. More often than not, however, terminating reflects good judgment and will help you maintain a happier, more efficient practice.

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
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lasik

Near-sighted Patients Prefer LASIK to Contact Lenses

More costly, more hassle, but more satisfactory? A 2016 study found that 97% of people who had LASIK surgery felt surgery was a better solution to their near-sightedness than contact lenses.

When compared with a control group of near-sighted people who continued to wear contacts, those who had the procedure self-reported fewer eye infections, ulcers and abrasions, and fewer difficulties with night driving and nighttime visual disturbances than the contacts wearers. Rates of dry eye were similar in both groups.

The Cornea Research Foundation of America study enrolled 1,800 participants at 20 sites across the U.S.; 694 participants (39%) continued wearing contact lenses and 1106 (61%) had LASIK surgery.

Participants were surveyed at baseline and 1, 2, and 3 years after the study began. They were asked how strongly they would recommend their current vision correction method to a close friend or relative, and whether LASIK worked better for them than contacts. The satisfaction gap was consistent over the 3-year follow-up period.

Note: Many ophthalmologists prescribe Avenova pre- and post-op to LASIK procedures.

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
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Eat these Eight Super Foods for Eye Health

Mom was onto something when she told you to eat your carrots! Bet she didn’t know that many other foods also contribute to healthy peepers:

  1. Fish–mackerel, tuna, salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids known to help prevent dry eye and macular degeneration.
  2. Eggs–the much-maligned egg is an excellent source of protein and vitamins A, D, B6 and B12, which have been shown to prevent night blindness and relieve dry eyes.
  3. Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachios–these nuts are high in omega-3s and vitamin E, both great for the eyes.
  4. Legumes–chickpeas and beans contain bioflavonoids and zinc that help safeguard the retina.
  5. Seeds–sunflower seeds also help keep the eyes healthy since they contain vitamin E and zinc.
  6. Greens–foods rich in folic acid, potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and other nutrients, like spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and kale, have lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
  7. Whole Grains–with a low glycemic index, wheat, millet, oats, corn, barley, rice and rye can protect your eyes against age-related macular degeneration.
  8. Fruit–citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C, which lowers the risk of cataracts and, yes, macular degeneration.

So in other words, eat well and your eyes will thank you!

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
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Avenova Part of Breakthrough Dry Eye Therapy

Eye care physicians nationwide are now combining Avenova daily eyelid and eyelash hygiene spray with a new prescription drug to tackle the root causes of dry eye.

The new drug is most effective when combined with Avenova.

Xiidra, recently approved by the FDA and delivered through an eye drop, tames the body’s inflammatory response to bacteria and parasitic mites on the eyelids. By reducing that response, Xiidra helps keep the tear-oil-making meibomian gland functioning, and prevents the production of lipase (which breaks up the oil). In clinical trials, Xiidra was significantly better than a placebo at bringing relief from dry eye.

Clinical testing of Avenova with Neutrox has shown that it reduces populations of bacteria. Laboratory testing has also demonstrated that Avenova neutralizes bacterial toxins and substances that cause inflammation, and even blocks lipase.

“Ophthalmologists throughout the nation have experienced positive results prescribing Xiidra and instructing patients to wipe their eyelids twice a day with Avenova sprayed onto a cotton pad,” says Dr. Ivan Mac of Metrolina Eye Associates in Monroe, North Carolina. “Finally, eye care specialists can really make a difference in the lives of patients with chronic dry eye.”

WHERE TO FIND AVENOVA: 1-800­-890­-0329 or via web Patients – Contact or
Physician Contact

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