Four Tips for Implementing OptiLight and Optimizing ROI
Light-based therapy has been the standard of care for my dry eye patients for over a decade, with an upgrade to Lumenis technology when it was released in 2015. Nowadays, I’m using OptiLight. By addressing key underlying factors of dry eye with OptiLight, I’ve seen inflammation decline and signs of the disease decrease. With FDA approval of Lumenis light therapy for the management of dry eye disease, I’ve been talking to many colleagues who are new to OptiLight and uncertain about how to implement it in their practices. I explain that OptiLight technology can fit easily into their dry eye toolkit. Simple adjustments at the office can transform good results into great ones.
1. Adjust the practice philosophy toward dry eye disease. Not long ago, we had a limited understanding of dry eye disease and no effective long-term therapies, resulting in reluctance to treat it aggressively or set high expectations for our patients. Today, doctors who excel at managing this condition have a common philosophy: dry eye disease is an opportunity, not an obstacle. We have the tools to help the millions of patients who are already in our practices. There is no single solution that fits every case, but we embrace a technology like OptiLight that serves many patients’ needs.
These ideas can’t be the domain of one doctor (a dry eye “champion”). It has to be a whole-practice effort. We want ophthalmologists in all specialties to have a current understanding of dry eye disease, and we train our staff to understand and recognize dry eye and expect to see it in many patients. They also know that light-based therapy is an effective solution.
2. Do not limit OptiLight to the end of your algorithm. Because dry eye disease is so ubiquitous, you need to source your existing patients as OptiLight candidates as well as new patients. Many candidates may benefit from OptiLight, but this treatment’s “lowest-hanging fruits” fall in two places in the treatment algorithm: 1) patients who have tried and failed with traditional therapies such as artificial tears, thermal compresses, and prescription medications, and 2) newly diagnosed patients who don’t want to be dependent on twice-daily use of prescription eye drops.
I recommend identifying these two types of patients first. Notice, we don’t need to wait to do OptiLight until after multiple therapies have failed. It is a TFOS DEWS II Step 2 therapy, right alongside common prescription eye drops. OptiLight also fits easily into the practice workflow, with treatment visits that fit into our regular exam slots and very little setup time.
3. Improve communication—say the right thing before, during and after OptiLight. We’re good at setting expectations and defining success for cataract surgery. If you prepare to communicate with patients about OptiLight in the same productive way, you’ll succeed. You have three chances to say the right thing—before, during and after the procedure. I start by explaining dry eye disease, and then I ask if the patient is interested in a “drug-free, drop-free treatment” called OptiLight. I explain that the technology improves the function of the meibomian glands, which contribute to a stable tear film. I describe the risks and benefits, and we discuss payment.
During treatment, remind patients why they chose OptiLight. As you adjust the settings, explain your reasons. Afterward, explain the changes you see and how they show goals have been met, such as better gland expressibility, longer TBUT, lower inflammation scores, and improved meibography.
4. Every single dry eye patient is a marketing opportunity. If a practice chooses to pursue external marketing, the message is simple. An email or social media post asking, “Got dry eye? Do you want a drop-free treatment?” goes a long way. You can also connect with your referral partners in optometry and ophthalmology who don’t do OptiLight to encourage referrals, as well as with dermatologists who might do light-based therapies but don’t treat the eyes. Lumenis offers marketing support, including one-on-one consulting and a digital marketing plan.
You’ll find that most OptiLight patients, however, are right in your practice. About half of my OptiLight patients come from inside the practice; the other half are referred to me. It’s difficult to think of a disease state with higher prevalence than dry eye disease. It’s one of the most common conditions we see—the patients fill our offices. The opportunity to discuss OptiLight is right there in every patient encounter. Talk about OptiLight with every candidate, and the device will quickly pay for itself.
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Learn about the first and only IPL FDA approved for dry eye management
Indication for Use:
Improvement of signs of Dry Eye Disease (DED) due to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD), also known as evaporative dry eye or lipid deficiency dry eye, in patients 22 years of age and older with moderate to severe signs and symptoms of DED due to MGD and with Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV. IPL is to be applied only to skin on the malar region of the face, from tragus to tragus including the nose (eyes should be fully covered by protective eyewear). IPL is intended to be applied as an adjunct to other modalities, such as meibomian gland expression, artificial tear lubricants and warm compresses
Ocular surgery or eyelid surgery or Neuro-paralysis within 6 months prior to the first treatment; Uncontrolled eye disorders affecting the ocular surface; Pre-cancerous lesions, skin cancer or pigmented lesions in the planned treatment area; Uncontrolled infections or uncontrolled immunosuppressive diseases; Recent Ocular infections; Prior history of cold sores or rashes in the perioral area, including: Herpes simplex 1 & 2, Systemic Lupus erythematosus and porphyria; Use of photosensitive medication and/or herbs that may cause sensitivity within 3 months prior to the first IPL session; Recent radiation therapy to the head or neck or planned radiation therapy; Recent treatment with chemotherapeutic agent or planned chemotherapy; History of migraines, seizures or epilepsy.
Patients eyes must be completely occluded during the treatment. Please refer to the operator manual for a complete list of intended use, contraindications and risks.
Please consult your physician as to whether this procedure is suitable for you.
The following possible side effects can occur following IPL treatments:
Pain/discomfort, damage to natural skin texture, change of pigmentation, scarring, excessive edema, fragile skin, bruising, burns, pruritus and xerosis. Please refer to the user manual or ask your doctor for a complete list of intended use, contraindications and risks
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