14 Things I’d Tell New Optometry School Graduates After 14 Years of Practice

This post was done about 4 years ago with the title “Ten [and then 11] things I’d tell new optometry school graduates after 10 years of practice”.  I haven’t added to it since 2011, so I decided it needed an update…

Eleven Fourteen years ago in May I graduated from the University of Houston College of Optometry.  We had to wait two months to get our license to practice, so we had some time to kill.  It was during that two month break that I took a cruise with my wife to Bermuda (my first cruise and her third).

And it was on that cruise that I unknowingly realized how I’d want my practice to run. After getting my license, I realized that I learned more in my first six months of practicing in the real world than I did in four years of optometry school.  You’ll see what I mean in about six months from now.

But why wait?  Let’s see if I can come up with 10 11 14 pearls of wisdom for new graduates…

1.  Develop guidelines, not policies.  Be flexible.  It’s really not that difficult to make most patients happy.  Some may have unusual requests, but if you can make them happy they won’t even think about going to see anyone else.  No changes here.  Patients hate policies.  

2.  I wish someone would have stood up at our graduation, maybe with a bull horn, and told us to pay down our student loan debt as quickly as possible…before buying that first house and that shiny new car.  Even though I listed this as #2, it’s the first bit of advice I give to any new grad.  It’s the most painful check I write each month and it’s advice that I regret never receiving.  Still writing those checks…Ouch!

3.  No matter how young you look coming out of school, it’s easy to look like you know what you’re doing.  Look every patient in the eye, early and often.  And give them a firm hand shake.  They want to see your confidence right away so that they can relax and pay attention to you.

4.  Show appreciation to your staff.  I’ve never been as good at this one as I’d like to be, but it’s very important.  But I’m working on it, despite what they may think!  Still working on it and may never be as good as I want to be…

5.  Don’t expect everyone you work with to be a clone of yourself.  It took me years to get over this one.  Still doing okay on this one…

6.  One of things I learned on that first cruise was that you can run your business like everyone else and be like everyone else, or you can  run it differently and be that much better.  During our dinner services onboard the cruise, I couldn’t believe someone was coming up to our table with a special little instrument to wipe the crumbs off my table.  It reminds me often of this pearl #6.  I don’t expect the crumb sweep as part of an average meal anywhere else, but it sets you apart if you do it.  Of course this still rings true.  Ever been on a Carnival Cruise?  You get what you pay for…

7.  Read a book or two 12 on customer service.  Don’t expect any real success unless you figure out the importance of it, because you will not learn it in school.  Any fresh graduate can do a refraction and get a glasses prescription right most of the time, it’s the rest of the experience in your office that counts.

8.  Get involved in the community.  I didn’t learn this one right away.

9.  Don’t just hire people with experience.  Hire nice, intelligent people and teach them what you want them to do.  Some of the worst people I ever hired had terrible habits that they had developed from “years of experience”.

10.  Never stop learning something new.  A lot of us left school with a good understanding of the eye, but not always the greatest understanding of vision.  They are two separate concepts.  And if you don’t know them both, you may have a lot of people leave your office with unsolved vision problems.  Been there.  Done that.

11. Don’t forget the importance of evaluating binocular vision. Patients will come back to see you and refer family members because you have given them a prescription that allows them to see comfortably and reduces those annoying frontal headaches. None of my mentors shed light on the impact of a little bit of prism added to an Rx. I’ve been fascinated by the difference it can make, especially with vertical deviations.  This one’s hard for most to believe.  You just have to try it.  Why do you think we have so many prisms in our trial lens case?

12.  Research and decide where you want to be forever.  I’ve started over twice and that meant rebuilding patient bases, losing benefits and losing income along the way.  I should have been in San Antonio all along, but just didn’t know it.

13.  Figure out a specialty.  Flipping lenses and fitting daily disposables will pay the bills, but it will also make you look like everyone else in your patients’ eyes.  Specialty contact lenses and vision therapy/rehabilitation seem to have bright futures.  I’m pursuing the VT/rehab aspect of patient care.   See Pearl #6 again.

14.  Make it your goal to be so good that you can eliminate all the discount vision plans that have taken over our industry.  These plans make too many rules and pay us less and less to do more and more.  It will take time as you establish yourself and your patient base in your community but plenty of optometrists have done it.

So there you go.  Ten Nine Six years from now I will hopefully have at least 20 pearls of wisdom to share.  Thanks for reading!

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Digital Eye Strain — Ways to Prevent It

Digital eye strain…we hear a lot about it from those in the business and from our patients.  More and more patients with very mild prescriptions are coming in and complaining about this type of eye strain.

digital eye strain computerAnd it’s no wonder.  Our eyes weren’t really designed to focus up close for hours at a time, but that’s what happens for many of us while working on a computer. If you’re like most people, you also look at your phone and tablet for many hours per day when away from your desk.

I’ve been writing separate prescriptions for many of my patients that are designed to focus primarily on that arm’s length range that usually extends 2 to 3 feet away.  I’m wearing my CompuClear lenses right now as I’m putting this post together.  It keeps me from having to bob my head up and down like I would have to do in my progressive lenses.  The added prism in my glasses also helps me so that I don’t have to turn my eyes inward so far, which dramatically reduces eye strain for me.

The folks at AllAboutVision.com put together a nice infographic that points out 7 things that contribute to eye strain.  I would add another “thing” and that would be a glare reduction treatment.  New research has shown that the blue-violet wavelength of light from digital screens can be harmful to the eyes over time.  So I’ve begun to recommend the new Crizal Prevencia lens treatment.  Not only does it filter out much of that potentially harmful wavelength, it also improves resistance to glare, scratches, dust and smudges.  If you don’t come see me for your next eye exam, be sure to ask your doctor about it.  It’s highly recommended for children also, because they can spend just as much time looking at a computer screen too.
7 Things You Are Doing at Your Desk That Will Give You Eye Strain

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What’s the Right Age for Children to Start Wearing Contact Lenses?

contact lens kidsOne of the most common questions we eye doctors hear from parents is “How old does my child have to be to start wearing contact lenses?”

Contact lens wear is not a function of a child’s age. In fact, many infants and toddlers wear them.  Every case differs, and it’s really just a matter of the level of maturity for the child’s age.  I usually turn to Mom or Dad and ask if they think their child is ready to take on one more responsibility in addition to what they already have in his or her daily life.  And the response usually indicates whether or not we will proceed.

Here are a few things that may help you decide whether contacts are a good idea for your own children:

What are the options for my child?

 Most contact lenses that we fit today are of the soft variety.  They can be replaced every day, every two weeks or every month.  My preference for kids is the daily disposable lens.  This option gives them a fresh, clean lens every day without any of the hassle of cleaning or storing the lenses.  It’s the safest option.

The biggest responsibility with this type of lens is to make sure the lenses make it in to the trash can at the end of the day.  That’s it!  Recent advances in daily disposable lens material have made these lenses the most comfortable of all lens choices that I prescribe.

Some contact lenses can slow the progression of nearsightedness.

Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common vision condition where one’s near sight is better than distance sight.  In recent years, we have seen studies that are trying to determine how to prevent the worsening of myopia.  Researchers at The Ohio State University and Hong KongPolytechnicUniversity have found that myopia is reduced  when orthokeratology lenses are worn at night only.  Also known as Ortho-K, these specially designed lenses are very much like dental braces.  They are also a great option for active children.  I used these lenses personally for one year before I had my LASIK eye surgery done, and they worked incredibly well.contact lens kids orthok

In an independent study conducted for the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association, 69% of responding eye doctors said they believe that Ortho-K contact lenses may reduce the progression of childhood myopia.

Contact lenses are better for sporting activities.

Even if your child is wearing polycarbonate eyeglass lenses, if the frame breaks during the game, it can still cause an eye injury. With contacts, he or she still has the option to wear protective sports goggles. On the field, contacts allow more freedom of movement, excellent peripheral (side) vision and less distortion than glasses.  This can allow for quicker reaction time and improved performance.contact lens kids

Many children, and most teenagers, prefer contacts over glasses.

The self-esteem of our children and teenagers is strongly related to their appearance.  In a clinical study, 80% of parents agreed that contacts dramatically improved the quality of life and confidence of their kids.  Once they start wearing contacts, we find that many shy kids come out of their shell and begin participating more in daily activities.

Eye care professionals report great results with kids and contact lenses.

No eye doctor will prescribe contact lenses for children or teenagers who aren’t ready for them or who don’t have a good reason to wear them. I don’t hesitate to “unprescribe” them if a child doesn’t take good care of them.  And I will never over rule a parent who doesn’t think their child is ready.

So talk it over with your eye doctor.  He or she is the best person to help you decide what’s right for your children’s vision correction.  When properly cared for and worn as instructed by an eye doctor, contact lenses for kids are a safe and healthy option.

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Learn About the Iris With This Eye Color Infographic

Infographics are pretty cool, with lots of information, varying sizes of text and well-designed images.  Here’s a good one I found online about the iris, the colored part of the eye.

I had a patient in the other day who asked me about iridololgy, which  is an alternative medicine technique whose proponents claim that patterns, colors, and other characteristics of the iris can be examined to determine information about a patient’s systemic health.

Unfortunately, iridology is not well supported by scientific research.  But no doubt it would be nice to study patterns in the iris and be able to tell that something is wrong with the liver.  I like to think I have a pretty open mind regarding alternative forms of medicine, but well-controlled scientific evaluation of iridology has shown entirely negative results, with all rigorous double blind tests failing to find any statistical significance to its claims.

Enjoy this informative infographic.

Found on PECCA's Pinterest page.  Designed thanks to Mezzmer.

Found on PECCA’s Pinterest page. Designed thanks to Mezzmer.

 

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Halloween Contact Lenses Can Have Scary Consequences — Part 2

In part 1, my Aunt Missy told the beginning to her story of how she put on her regular contact lenses for Halloween after storing them in her case for about a month.  I want to stress that she was not wearing funky Halloween contact lenses, but that there is alway an inherent risk involved with wearing contact lenses.  And when your eye doctor inconveniences you by charging you extra as he/she’s evaluating your eyes for contact lens wear, remember my Aunt’s story. Because her experience is the worst case scenario that we are trying to protect you from.

halloween contact lenses

Be careful with your Halloween contact lenses! Photo courtesy of dudeiwantthat.com

Part 2, the corneal transplant and beyond…In her words:

“The corneal transplant required 26 stitches to hold the new cornea in place and they would often come loose and drive me crazy!  After the transplant I was on a steroid drop called Pred Forte. It prevents inflammation and/or rejection. Also needed drops for glaucoma, because pressure in the eye was high, which could in time effect the optic nerve. (And that cannot be fixed once it is damaged).

halloween contact lenses, corneal transplant

Not my Aunt’s eye. Note the sutures holding the new central cornea in place after the transplant.

A few months later, I had a laser procedure to break up scar tissue and an Express shunt was inserted next to my iris to help lower eye pressure and improve drainage. But because of my age and health, tissue ‘grew over’ the shunt and prevented it from working properly.  And then the steroid drop caused a cataract, so THAT surgery was done in May 2013 and an iStent for drainage was placed in to my iris angle at the same time.

halloween contact lens, glaucoma stent

An example of how a glaucoma stent works.

I will remain on drops indefinitely, especially the steroid, which has resulted in long eyelashes on my right eye! I am unable to wear any eye makeup/mascara ever again because of bacteria it may cause, I will never chance that!  And I am unable to drive at night anymore.

halloween contact lenses

Cataract formation resulting from continued usage of steroid drops. Not my Aunt Missy’s eye. Picture from isteroids.com

I needed another laser procedure in October 2013, again for scar tissue from the cataract implant. This time I immediately got a headache/burning/itching/and redness, this lasted almost a week. And NOW I have floaters! The next step is to get a special hard contact fitted so that my vision will improve. As of now, it’s like I am looking through frosted glass or an unfocused camera.

The lab results came back with the name of the fungus: Lecanicillium Fungicola, which is a fungus that attacks white button mushrooms….so I had a fungus that eats fungus! HA

The Express shunt was a waste of time, in my opinion…but it is a trial and error with my case. It is not textbook, by any means. Also, the only surgery/procedure done in Houston was the transplant and all others were done here in Corpus Christi. After traveling to Houston for months, we were so tired of it. I decided to get the other things done here.”

 

Lessons Learned

So I wanted to post this story as a way to educate and warn other contact lens wearers about the worst case scenario that eye doctors worry about.  Who knows how many thousands of dollars this cost in her medical care?  With more costs to come.

One of the most unfortunate parts of this whole story is that the fungal organism that attacked her cornea (Lecanicillium Fungicola) was so rare.  I googled it trying to link it to contact lens wear or solutions and nothing came up.  Any eye doctor would have treated this as a run-of-the-mill bacterial infection and, most likely, the same devastating sequence of events would have occurred no matter what she did when the first symptoms occurred.  I remember emailing her in the beginning stages of this, advising her to do exactly as her doctors told her or else she’ll end up in a ophthalmology textbook one day.  Sadly, she did do everything she was told, and that may still be case.

white mushroom

Since this terrible event, I’ve been making more of a point to review the proper cleaning regimen with all my contact lens wearers.  Unfortunately, too many take for granted that their “no rub” solution will do the job.  I find they take a lot of shortcuts.  I now advise a lens rub every single night followed by storage in fresh multi-purpose solution.  Lenses shouldn’t be stored for more than a few days without switching out solution.  But did I always make it a point to tell that to my patients?  No, but I do now.

I want to thank my Aunt Missy again for sharing the story.  Some day if she makes it to San Antonio, I’d be really interested to take a first hand look at that eye and take her out for some good barbecue or Tex-Mex!  And please share this story with the contact lens wearers that you know, especially if they need a good reason to take better care of their lenses.

 

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Halloween Contact Lenses Can Have Scary Consequences

halloween contact lens

Picture courtesy of frames direct.com.

It’s getting to be that time of year again.  Time for dressing up, trick or treating, and parents picking out their favorite candies from their kids’ candy haul.  But for eye doctors, it’s that time of year where we start getting phone calls from people wanting to know about crazy contact lenses for Halloween.  Most callers don’t realize that we have to give them a full eye exam and evaluate their eyes for contact lens wear, which is a separate exam all together from the traditional “routine” eye exam for glasses.  Many callers get upset at the idea and more often than not will hang up and go to the local flea market or nail salon to get the lenses anyway.

But what most people don’t realize is that there are very serious risks that they take by doing this.  And most people won’t fall victim to these risks, but it’s the unlucky few who have the worst stories to tell.

Contact Lens Nightmare

I’d like to share the story of my Aunt Missy, who back in Halloween of 2011, put in her regular contacts (multifocal clear, not Halloween lenses) because zombies look scarier when they don’t wear their glasses.  It really turned in to a nightmare of a story for her and her family.  In her words:

“On Halloween 2011, I wore my contacts because I normally wore glasses and I was a zombie and did not want glasses on. They were stored in my contact lens case and I did not clean out the solution before putting them in that day. It had been at least a month since I had worn them.

A few days later I woke up with a burning, itchy, bloodshot right eye. I went to my optometrist thinking I had pink eye. He gave me antibiotic drops for bacterial infection and said come back in two days. Went back and there was no improvement. After that exam he seemed a little panicked, went quickly down the hall “to make a call”….he came back with a appointment for me at the Eye Institute of Corpus Christi, referring me to the cornea specialist there for Monday.

After an exam with Dr. Chris Majka, I was given drops for fungal &/or viral infection. I went to him for 45 days straight, everyday! And, yes, paying my $35 copay each time.  A series of drops was prescribed to be taken around the clock, meaning 24 hours a day, some from a compound pharmacy containing swimming pool fungal killer at $100 a bottle, (not covered by insurance) some from the regular pharmacy.  A culture was taken and it returned as fungal infection (they did not know what type, apparently it was rare) and I was given a choice to go to UT Health Science Center in San Antonio or BAYLOR HOUSTON to see the eye specialists there.

corneal ulcer, halloween contact lens infection

The formation of a cornea ulcer before her corneal transplant.

I was exhausted, my family was exhausted…my husband had to take leave from work to help me during the day and my daughter did the night shift (I had a strict schedule for drops & did not sleep much, nor did they).  ( As you know, you have to let each drop ‘dry’ before you can drop another to be effective.) We had to set a timer.

I was in horrible pain and some of the drops burned so bad and would congeal thick white mucous, I would be in tears (no pun)ha.  And the headache and burning in my sinuses and throat from the drops was constant and something I could not believe. Only the right side of my face was burning, so I knew it was the drops, even though the doctors said it was not. They even wondered if I had shingles. Ended up going to Baylor Eye Center in Houston (3.5 hours away)  Then surgery was scheduled at Methodist Hospital on December 20, 2011 for a cornea transplant.”

precorneal transplant

The formation of a hypopyon settling to the bottom of the anterior chamber of her eye. A hypopyon is sterile pus and it’s actually leukocytes trying to help the eye feel better.

The story of Halloween contact lenses and that right eye don’t end there.  More complications were still to come…

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Contact Lenses That Let the Eyes Breathe

contact lens, neovascularisation

Thank you to our friends at theopticalvisionsite.com for finding this first.

The front window of the eye is called the cornea.  It contains no blood vessels so that we can see through it clearly.  Contact lenses can actually inhibit the amount of oxygen that reaches the cornea.  Overwearing contact lenses can create a hypoxic condition in which the body creates new blood vessels to carry oxygen through the blood stream.  This is called neovascularisation and I see it a lot in patients that are wearing older generations of contact lenses.

Fortunately, for a few years now, we have been able to prescribe contact lenses with much higher oxygen transmission.  Make sure you’re wearing contact lenses that the eyes breathe.

Photo courtesy of Contact Lens Spectrum

Photo courtesy of Contact Lens Spectrum

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Anti-Fatigue Lenses Reduce Digital Eye Strain and Headaches

headache, eye strain, computer lenses, tired eyes, migraines

My Anti-Fatigue lenses.

 You don’t have to suffer from Visual Fatigue

Have you ever thought about how many hours in the day you spend looking at a digital screen? I was thinking about it the other day, and really couldn’t believe that I focus my eyes on a digital screen an average of 8-10 hours per day during a typical week day. By digital screen, I mean any screen within arm’s length, whether it be my smartphone, iPad, Kindle or computer screen.

And I know I’m not alone.  Between work, home, shopping and school, my average patient encounters computerized displays in one form or another almost constantly. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 100 million people in the U.S. spend over 50 percent of their workday at a computer.

Ever had a headache behind the eyes?

eye muscle

Extra-ocular muscles. The arrows show the directions controlled by each muscle. (photo courtesy http://medical-transcriptionist-reference.blogspot.com/2012/05/eye-muscles.html)

Each eyeball has 6 extra-ocular muscles that move and hold our eyes in place.  If we’re focusing up close, those muscles turn the eyes in (convergence) and work to keep them turned in for as long as the demand is there.  For some of us it’s easy.  But for many of us (like me) it’s not.  When you’ve spent a certain amount of time, the muscles will inevitably fatigue and probably start to fight each other to move to their natural resting posture.  Think about if you were to extend your arms in front of you and cross them.  It’s not difficult at first, but do it long enough and you’ll start to get negative feedback from your muscles.  Same thing happens with the eyes.

If you’ve ever felt an ache behind the eyes, then your extra-ocular muscles are fatiguing.  I also hear these aches described as hurting in the temples or the forehead.  They’re often confused with sinus headaches, but rarely relieved with sinus medication.  Other symptoms may include intermittent blur, losing your place while reading, or words moving around on the page.

Visual Fatigue Solutions

anti-fatigue, computer lens

My go-to lens for young-ish patients.

My favorite lens to recommend for tired eyes is Essilor’s Anti-Fatigue lens.  It’s primarily designed for my pre-40 year-old patients and it gives a perfect little “power boost” on the bottom of the lens for near vision focusing.  It’s intended as a replacement for single vision distance lenses.  Also included is a glare reduction treatment in the lens to reduce glare caused by overhead lights or poor lighting conditions.

I’ve prescribed this lens for patients as young as 7 years old.  My daughter wears these.  Of course, I have a pair for myself.  And I usually combine these with prism, if needed, for further eye strain relief.  Our price runs at about $199 for the pair of lenses and we can fit them in virtually any frame.  And they are very easy to adapt to.  VERY easy.

So if you’re looking for eye strain relief, I want you to know that this is an option.  iGadgets aren’t going anywhere, so eye fatigue symptoms will not be getting any better.  I’ve already prescribed it twice this morning.  We’ll see what happens after lunch.

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Juice Plus clinical research shows that it delivers vital nutrients and fuel for our bodies

skeptical hippo, juice plus

So it’s natural to be skeptical about Juice Plus+.  We’re conditioned to listen to doctors for medical advice to keep us healthy, because we know that doctors train and practice for years and years to gain medical knowledge that many of us don’t have.  But like I said in the last post, doctors don’t go to school to learn about nutrition.  And even though I’ve been out of school for 13 years, I doubt that has really changed.

Google “research” on Juice Plus will list different opinions from fitness trainers, health professionals and soccer moms.  I just put this out there as something that makes sense to me.  Maybe it will make sense to you.  Maybe it won’t, or maybe you won’t care because you get plenty of fruits and veggies on your plate already.  But let’s look at some studies…

Turning to the Research

Clinical research has showcased the benefits of adding Juice Plus+ to your diet. More than 20 Juice Plus+ research studies have been conducted in leading hospitals and universities around the world, including:

  • Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Brigham Young University
  • Charité University Medical Centre, Berlin, Germany
  • Georgetown University
  • Kings College in London
  • Medical University of Graz, Austria
  • Medical University of Vienna
  • Nemours Children’s Clinic
  • Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Japan
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Birmingham, England
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • University of Milan, Italy
  • University of Mississippi Medical Center
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • University of South Carolina
  • University of Sydney in Australia
  • University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio
  • University of Texas/MD Anderson
  • University of Witten-Herdecke, Germany
  • University of Würzburg, Germany
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wake Forest University funded by the National Cancer Institute
  • Yale University-Griffin Hospital Prevention Research Center

Three studies showed that Juice Plus+ contributes to cardiovascular wellness and heart health.  Research subjects who consumed Juice Plus+ were better able to maintain the normal, healthy elasticity of arteries, even after a high-fat meal; maintain normal levels of homocysteine, a waste product associated with heart health; and demonstrated positive effects on several other measures of vascular health.

Four more studies showed that Juice Plus+ supports key measures of immune system

juice plus

Photo courtesy of healthlob.com

function in healthcare professionals with direct patient contact (doctors, nurses, etc.); in young law school students; in an elderly population; and in athletic men.

Eleven studies showed that Juice Plus+ provides increased levels of key antioxidants in the bloodstream.  Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight oxidative stress and help you maintain optimal health.

Three clinical studies show that Juice Plus+ helps to protect DNA from oxidative stress.

And investigators at the University of South Carolina found Juice Plus+ significantly decreased levels of three key biomarkers of inflammation.

Need a doctor’s recommendation?  Click this link to see 27 doctors give their video endorsements based on Juice Plus clinical research.  See?  These doctors ARE looking in to nutrition on their own and recommending it to their patients.

Some people that recommend this product go nuts with it.  They have parties at their home to try to sell it and they do public speaking.  I don’t mean to criticize those folks, but I’m not going to do any of that.  My style is to inform and educate and let you see if it makes sense to you.

I’ll post more information as I come across it, including a way to let your kids try Juice Plus for free.

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Eye Health and Nutrition — Bridging the Gap with Juice Plus+

eye nutrition, juice plus, lutein, macular degeneration

Photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

“Keep yourself healthy and you’ll keep your eyes healthy”. I’ve said this to countless patients over the years. Usually followed by a reminder to eat your fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens like spinach and kale. Pretty much, it was “do as I say, not as I do” because historically my dinner plates have consisted of yellow, white and brown food items. Ketchup was the only occasional colorful item on my plate. I am and always have been a meat-atarian.

I grew up healthy despite any fruits and veggies ever on my plate. And I mean NONE. I even picked the carrots out of chicken noodle soup! Rarely ever got sick either. Perhaps it was due to the fact that most of our meals were home cooked meals. Plus I was active playing sports year round and never ate too much at any one sitting.

And I’m still in good health today even though I’m eating a little more at every sitting. And that’s catching up to me! But everyday as I see unhealthy patients come in and out of my exam room, I often wonder where my responsibility begins and ends concerning their overall health. Most of my patients come in for an update to their glasses and/or contact lens prescription. Some come in with an eye infection or a piece of something in their eye. And we take care of it and they’re on their way until next year or the next eye infection.

But I’ve been thinking more and more about my obligation to go a little further and discuss what I’ve learned about nutrition. After all, if I’m going tell my patients to keep themselves healthy to keep their eyes healthy, why would I stop there with just the words?

A LOT TO LEARN

But we don’t learn about nutrition in school. No doctors do. Whether we went to medical school, dental school, chiropractic school or optometry school. So we have to seek out the knowledge on our own and wade through the claims of how different nutrients and vitamins are supposed to work and be of benefit. Unlike the pharmaceutical industry, we don’t have the big bucks behind the vitamin and supplement industry to tell us how their products work or if they work at all. But we sure do know about the drugs. The TV intermissions are filled with prescription drug commercials telling you to “ask your doctor if _____ is right for you. And while we watch actors with big smiles on their faces, the narrator spends 30 seconds talking about their ridiculous potential side effects.

And so it keeps me on the lookout for something better. And I think I’ve found it. It’s called

juice plus, vision source, eye nutrition, bridge the gap

Photo courtesy of freshideamama.com

Juice Plus+ and it’s been around for 20 years. It’s touted as the next best thing to fruits and vegetables.  It’s the only supplement I’ve found that’s had studies published in over a dozen peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals related to Pediatrics, Nutrition, Periodontics, Gynecologic Oncology, Sports Science and Cardiology. Current studies are also underway funded by the National Institute of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

According to their website, “Juice Plus+ is not a substitute for eating fruits and vegetables” (darn!). “Juice Plus+ is not a medicine, treatment, or multivitamin. Juice Plus+ can help support a healthy diet by offering a much wider variety of naturally occurring vitamins – along with other antioxidants and phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables – than traditional vitamin supplements.”

So I’m going to cut this post short at this point before you lose interest.  I’ve got a lot to learn about this.  And yes, I’ve ordered my own for my family and just took the first helping today.  My daughter got her gummy chewables at no cost as part of their Children’s Health Study which provides kids 4 to 18 with four years of Juice Plus+ for FREE with the purchase of an adult order.

There’s a lot more I want to write about.  I’m excited about it.  Helping my patients stay healthy WILL keep their eyes healthy.  That should mean less dry eye, less cataract, less glaucoma, and less anything related to inflammation of the eyes.

Our office will be recommending and prescribing Juice Plus+ and you can learn more at our Juice Plus+ website .

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