Dry eyes – is it time to consider a specialist clinic?

Hanson Instruments | Dry eyes – is it time to consider a specialist clinic?

An increasing number of patients are presenting with dry eyes, which can be due to several factors including an ageing population. But this isn’t the full picture. Younger patients who rely on more and more screen use in their daily work and homelife are also experiencing discomfort. If your current practice is to spend a couple of minutes at the end of a routine eye exam and dispense hypromellose eye drops, this may not be enough time to provide the care and attention that patient really need.
Running a separate Dry Eye clinic or allowing patients to book specialist appointments could be the answer. Lisa Evans at Hanson Instruments explains the benefits to the practice of running separate clinics.” For many high street optometrists, the patients that come in with dry eyes will need more time for diagnosis and to explain how to successfully treat their condition as part of their daily routine. Just as a new contact lens wearer needs help and support to get used to using lenses and looking after their eyes properly, allowing them to have more time and give better practical support will result in the patient getting relief from their dry eye condition. In terms of specialist equipment, this is much less costly than a new OCT scanner yet will potentially benefit a larger number of patients to the practice.”
The equipment needed to start a dry eye clinic would typically include a video slit lamp a tear lab osmolarity machine, an Oculus Keratograph 5M and a BlephEx machine.
As well as equipment, sometimes staff will need some training before they feel confident providing this specialist service, training which can sometimes be provided free by the product suppliers. The practice will need to consider what diagnostic tests should be run for these patients. Initially treatments could include from over-the-counter eye drops, eye masks, lid care products and BlephEx and it’s is possible to add more in time.
Finally, all the staff in the practice, including the reception team, will need some advice about how to encourage patients to come for a specialist appointment. Sometimes a practice leaflet explaining the reason for a clinic appointment can help.
For a confidential discussion about how to introduce this specialist service and advise about any equipment needs, please contact Lisa at Hanson Instruments or call us on 01527 501077