Independent Eye Care
Dry Eye Care - awnw title.png
Published 10.13.2022

As a doctor, I find it both consistent and extremely encouraging that as medical professionals, my colleagues and I strive to attain the highest level of proficiency to deliver the best care possible. This high standard starts long before the grueling days of studying organic chemistry or learning how to perform gonioscopy. That desire for excellence started when we decided to go into healthcare, if not even before then.

In practice, some of us have seen success so often that we can’t stomach the idea that we might fail, which can lead to a prevailing fear of failure that can delay or even preclude starting something new.

It’s important to recognize the healthcare landscape in which we find ourselves today; your scope of care and opportunities for growth continue to expand such that sticking to the status quo will actually put you behind your more innovative or risk tolerant counterparts.

Within the past few years, there's been an explosion of options for dry eye treatment to address the high prevalence of the disease - up to 50% 1.

These treatments range from platelet rich plasma (PRP) to intraductal meibomian gland probing. Taking our professional predilection for excellence into consideration, it stands to reason that the breadth of skills and knowledge required to deliver quality care can seem overwhelming.

This is where eye care professionals start asking themselves questions:

  • Should I spend weeks or months in lectures?
  • Should I invest in expensive medical devices?
  • What about bringing in specialty contact lenses?
  • If so, how do I choose from an ever expanding list of options? Note: the below is a small sample of available products and services
EquipmentSpecialty Lenses
LipiflowProkera
TearCarePROSE (Bostonsight Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem)
iLuxEyePrintPro
Thermoflo
EyeXPress
NuLids
ZEST / BlephEx
Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL)
Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT)

Also, where would I find the time or money to do all of this? The complexities don’t end there, assuming I can make those decisions, how do I make sure that these changes are valuable or successful or, ideally, both?

Let’s pause and take a breath. Think back to your first day in organic chemistry class when you couldn’t fully appreciate the complexities of carbon atoms and recognize that you may not fully understand the entire world of dry eye now. Remember that there’s value in being a novice, there are no bad habits to break, no cleanup to do.

Understand that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - the decision to embrace dry eye care. In future articles, we'll embark on the journey of dry eye care together, one step at a time.

Author
Peter Pham, Ophthalmologist, Practice Owner, Founder of Zocular
Dr. Pham is a chemist, entrepreneur, and practicing ophthalmologist in Houston. He received his medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis after graduating summa cum laude with a degree in chemistry. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, and as a resident, co-developed the first online visual field system for glaucoma and macular degeneration, which is available at www.kysvision.com. He patented an activated polysaccharide platform derived from fresh okra called Zokrex TM that was originally developed to treat his own dry eye and now has been incorporated into Zocular products for eye care and skin care. He’s currently the CEO of Okra LLC.