Hand in Hand: A Thriving Dry Eye Practice and Boutique Optical

December 2, 2021
Mei Fleming, OD
optical boutique

I started my practice with two things in mind. First, I wanted the practice to reflect the highest standards of achieving optimal ocular health. From day one, I not only provided annual exams and performed routine screenings, but I also managed ocular disease and offered complete care for dry eye disease. Second, because I wanted my patients to see clearly and be passionate about their eyeglasses, I created a unique boutique that offers eyewear my patients feel enthusiastic about wearing every day. A sign on my wall reads, “See better than 20/20 in style.”

The results are just what I’d hoped: By treating patients’ conditions and ensuring that they wear their glasses, I am delivering individualized eye care and treating the total patient by improving their quality of life.

Mei Fleming, OD

Dry Eye Practice

From the start, it was important to me to offer complete dry eye services because dry eye plays such a huge role in ocular health and clear vision. With increased screen time and the demands placed on the eyes, I inform patients that if they are not actively preventing dry eye, they may be on the road to developing symptoms of dry eye disease. Left untreated, dry eye disease is an inflammatory disease that continually progresses. That is why I prescribe preventive ocular surface wellness with at-home therapy such as lid hygiene (“done daily, like brushing one’s teeth”), heated mask compresses, omega oil supplements, and other measures.

For symptomatic patients and for patients showing signs of dry eye disease, I offer in-office treatments, including the standout therapy, OptiLight. OptiLight enables me to treat the root inflammation, breaking the vicious cycle that may lead to ocular surface complications like dry eye disease.* This in-office treatment fits easily into my regular visit schedule, so implementation was quite seamless.

My patients are attracted to OptiLight because it’s a safe, light-based procedure. After OptiLight treatments, they’re very happy that there is zero downtime and that they are able to return to the things they want to do immediately after receiving treatment. They also appreciate the aesthetic benefits, such as reduced redness, less noticeable fine lines, and improved skin texture—unique bonuses of this procedure.
In fact, OptiLight has been so popular it has significantly added to my practice revenue and offset COVID-related losses. In just 7 months, my dry eye clinic is becoming as robust as the optical boutique.

Treating the Total Patient

When patients have a healthy ocular surface, I can perform an accurate and precise refraction. We also ensure they receive a personalized eyewear fitting. I explain to my patients that the right eyewear is an extension of their dry eye treatment because visual strain triggers dry eye, particularly during digital device use when the blink rate is reduced. By offering a functioning medical device that’s also a fashion accessory, I am confident my patients are wearing their glasses and optimizing the results achieved by dry eye therapy.

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

Treatment with OptiLight is contraindicated for patients with the following conditions in the treatment area:

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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