by Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier
Why Include Nutrition in your Practice?
Ocular disease is on the rise. Age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye disease, meibomain gland dysfunction, diabetes; all these diseases are sensitive to nutrition. There is a huge need to educate the population about the power of foods, nutrition and lifestyle in preventing eye disease. Furthermore, with new technologies arising at a rapid pace, the world of eye care is changing faster than ever.
With change come challenges and opportunity. Eyecare professionals now need to be very creative to differentiate themselves from the competition, which is now everywhere, from the discount optical up the street to the net. Ocular nutrition is an opportunity to make a difference in your patient’s life, differentiate yourself from the competition and increase your revenue. But most importantly, ocular nutrition is another way to meet your patient’s needs and make a difference in their wellness.
Patient want and deserve to be better cared for. Prevention of eye disease is one way to achieve better care for your patients. You are probably already doing preventative eyecare by recommending UV and blue light protection to your patients. You are already making a difference for their future eye health. What if you could take the extra step and educate and inspire your patients to further prevent eye disease by including ocular nutrition in your practice? You would uncover a need and meet that need for the patient. It would create loyalty, increase your revenue and it would bring in new like-minded patients through word-of-mouth.
But before you start including nutrition into your practice, you need a plan. You need to be educated on the topic, and educate your staff. You need to select the amount of involvement you are willing to take and create a program of implementation. Once everything is in place, you will see your practice grow from your current patients and word-of-mouth referrals.
In this column, Grow Your Practice with Nutrition, we will share with you the 7 Step Plan to Incorporating Ocular Nutrition into your practice. We will provide you with practical tips and real world scenarios so that you can successfully lead your patients toward a lifetime of healthier eyes, and transform your practice.
Drs. Capogna and Pelletier are the authors of the books Eyefoods: A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes and Eyefoods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Eye Health. Both books provide a clear plan for patients and are designed to help the eye care professional incorporate nutrition into their practice. To learn more about Eyefoods please visit www.eyefoods .com.