Eyecare Business

AUG 2016

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hen talking to Brandon K. Ross, O.D., it is clear that he is devoted to the community that he serves. He was raised in the very town in which he practices: Lawton, OK. He enjoys getting to practice with his wife and three other optometrists at Complete Eye Care. Dr. Ross explained that his team prescribes sunwear throughout the year, but the back-to- school season is a great time to focus on the younger demographic. Read on for Dr. Ross's key messages when talking to families about the protection that quality sunwear can offer. SIMPLE CONVERSATION We know many eye health complications in older patients are related to earlier UV exposure. Today, parents are very aware of damage from UV exposure when it comes to skin cancer. Once we explain that the same exposure greatly increases the risk of cataracts and pingueculae/pterygiums, the need for sunwear becomes a very simple conversation. We explain that effective sunwear— sunglasses with products like Xperio UV™ polarized sun lenses—are our best weapon to combat these issues. The good news is that I'm finding many par- ents already recognize the importance of sunwear for their children. It seems to be discussed more and more in communities and in the media. WHAT TO ASK I ask patients, including kids: 'Have your eyes ever burned, stung, or watered when you were outside or afterwards?' We then talk about how light rays from the sun that are not absorbed directly can be reflected off other surfaces. Some of these rays even reflect off the back side of sun lenses and into the eye. Be sure to explain how back-side UV protection reduces the reflection of harmful UV rays back into the eye. Suggest sun lenses that have back-side UV protection, like Xperio UV polarized sun lenses. FROM THE CHAIR In our practice, Chris Swanson, O.D., is famous for reminding us that O.D.s shouldn't be afraid to pre- scribe ophthalmic products like Xperio UV polarized sun lenses from the chair. He makes the point that if we believe enough in the product to wear them ourselves, then we should prescribe them from the chair. Then when patients go to choose a pair of lenses, they are more engaged in their own eye care. PROTECTION We believe information that is valuable to the eyecare professional is equally valuable to the patient. We also know that better patient understanding drives better acceptance. A patient who is told to do something without being given the 'why' is far less likely to follow guidelines and instructions. As experts, we understand the technical aspects of disease, but it's also our job to relay information about UV protec- tion in a meaningful, understandable way. SUNWEAR FOR BACK-TO-SCHOOL W { K E Y O P I N I O N L E A D E R S } BRANDON K. ROSS, O.D. "We know many eye health complications in older patients are related to earlier UV exposure." How to communicate the importance of sunwear to protect children from UV damage

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