This week in KeratoScoop: Newsletter's changing. Recent studies. Update on the ointment shortages. BostonSight message for PROSE users. Shop staff updates. New hours. Scheduled callbacks. 15% coupon. Videos. LacriPure status. About free shipping. Dry Eye Happy Hour. Blog posts. Where's the dry eye glasses. Shop additions. Notes from Rebecca, including Big News.

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KeratoScoop

November 5, 2018   -    Volume 10 - Issue 27

Rebecca's dry eye and scleral lens newsletter

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The Dry Eye Zone
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KeratoScoop is about to change!

For a very long time, KeratoScoop has been a joint newsletter of the Dry Eye Zone and the Dry Eye Shop. Today's issue is the very last "blended" issue! Don't worry, all the same content (and better) will be coming your way - it's just the formats that are changing.

After today, KeratoScoop will be devoted entirely to dry eye everything: news, studies, events, practical help & resources). It will go back to being weekly. And the sender will be Dry Eye Zone. (And yes, naturally I'm using this switch as the excuse to leave all real dry eye news till next week's issue.) 

Dry Eye Shop emails will show Dry Eye Shop as sender, and, as before, you'll be able to reset your preferences for dry eye vs scleral lenses and how frequently you want to receive emails. Questions? Reach out anytime!

Ointment shortage update

Good news and bad news.

The good news is, the shortages are easing. Several ointments that had been unavailable locally and online are now back, most notably the generics for Refresh PM from Walmart and Walgreens. 

The bad news is, Refresh PM and Refresh LacriLube will continue to be absent for a long time to come. I want to clarify the reasons for this. I had been told (by staff at the manufacturer, in fact) that the production problems were attributable to hurricane damage to a plant in Puerto Rico. However, another representative of the company called me recently to correct this. (Apparently they finally noticed that when you google Refresh PM, it's a tossup whether you get my blog post or their brand page first.) I can't go into details here, other than the fact that there is a legitimate manufacturing problem. I believe they are doing what they can to fix it, but the delay is unavoidable and the communications failures have been hurting patients.

Allergan finally started a signup page where consumers can sign up to be notified when these products are back. Please beware the very, very fine print on that signup page, which seems to involve getting on a mailing list for a lot of other things. As an alternative, we still offer our own mailing list specifically for Refresh PM and Refresh LacriLube notifications. Just reply to this email and ask to be put on the relevant list.

BostonSight

We provide space in KeratoScoop for BostonSight communications to PROSE device users.

Who Do I Call When Something Is Wrong With My Eyes?

It can get confusing when eye problems arise while wearing PROSE devices. All PROSE patients should have a Primary Eye Care Provider (PECP) that manages their overall eye health and some also have cornea specialists, glaucoma specialists or retinal specialists. Sometimes one of their specialists also acts as the patient’s PECP. So, when something is not quite right with your eyes, who should you call?

Here are some guidelines we hope will help.

If you are having an eye issue that is ONLY present with your PROSE device on such as: pain or irritation only when you apply the device, foggy or cloudy vision only with your devices in, a broken device, solutions questions or irritation after using a new solution to clean or disinfect your devices, call your PROSE provider. When you call, please have a list of your current eye medications and PROSE solutions readily available.

Sometimes, it is appropriate to call your Primary Eye Care Provider instead, such as:  eye(s) that were fine when you went to bed but red when you wake up, itchy, watery eyes (especially during allergy season), discharge from your eye, vision changes noticed with or without your devices in, new light sensitivity or painful eye. 

There are also a few instances that you should call your PECP that do relate to your PROSE devices such as redness, irritation or pain from: getting a contact lens solution such as Clear Care or Optimum by LOBOB ESC cleaner in your eye (Please flush eye immediately before calling your doctor.), a device breaking in your eye or if you slept with a device in your eye. These instances require an evaluation and possibly treatment by your PECP. Your PECP must clear you to resume PROSE wear. 

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DryEyeShop
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Staff additions

Some of you have spoken with Becky this past month. She's my longtime Kiwi friend and I was lucky enough to persuade her to come work at the Dry Eye Shop to train on managing operations! Very exciting for me as this is a big part of making it possible for me to move on and devote myself entirely to education, advocacy and research. Becky warmed up with a stint in customer service and is rolling up her sleeves for lots more now.

Many of you will remember Ally, the ophthalmic technician who worked here in 2017-2018. Super sweet and a barrel of laughs... I'm happy to say Ally's back in the saddle, albeit part time!

In case you're curious, more about DryEyeShop staff here.

With Ally back, working the early shift, this means...

New hours: 6am - 4pm 

We are so happy to once more be able to offer earlier phone coverage for our east coast customers' convenience!

On Friday afternoons, we're not taking live calls after 12pm - this allows us to tackle some projects. But we are monitoring messages, so if you have an urgent need, don't worry, we're here!

Scheduled callbacks

Did you know... you can go online and schedule a call? That will guarantee you a 15 minute slot at the time of your choice, to discuss product questions or seek information and advice on any of the topics we cover here.

15% coupon... just till Tuesday night!

I messed up a recent coupon... it was for $5 off, but I accidentally put in a graphic of a 15% coupon, so I ended up "upgrading" the coupon to 15% to prevent confusion. Oops. It's still valid through November 6 (Tuesday), so go for it! 

Two ways to redeem the coupon:

  • Click on this discount code link. It will be added to your cart, trust us, you just won't see it till you're in the checkout process. Or...
  • Use the following discount code during checkout: 0V8ZXDSVWQRV

Videos

New since the last newsletter:

Popular videos:

LacriPure Update

LacriPure has been subject to manufacturer backorder for some months now. It's on the way back... we're hoping to have it here in about two weeks. We appreciate everyone's patience. And we're always happy to help with advice on product substitutions at any time.

We know, we know... everyone wants free shipping.

Almost everyone, anyway.

I've pushed back for a long time, on the simple basis that supporting the illusion of free shipping is not a sustainable path for a small niche business like ours... at least, not when they sell cheap, heavy items like the preservative-free salines used for scleral lenses (which, honestly, are the cause for all the complaints here). 

But... fact is, the consumer world is hellbent on free shipping and we cannot just ignore the number of callers who ask for it. No amount of explaining changes expectations. So, we finally decided to bite the bullet, roll up our sleeves and get creative!

During one of our recent Dry Eye Happy Hours (a/k/a Tuesday evening well-fed, well-lubricated brainstorming sessions) we set out to find a way. And by George I think we've got it. Stay tuned for an announcement before Thanksgiving!

Speaking of Dry Eye Happy Hour....

If you're local, or happen to be in town, you're invited! It's 5 to 7 pm every Tuesday. Click on the happy face for details.

If you're coming from across the bay, we're about 20 minutes from both the Kingston and the Bainbridge ferry terminals.

Dry Eye Happy Hour

DryEyeShop blog posts

Troubleshooting scleral lens insertion

Scleral lens supply prescription pads

The great eyedrop purge

Where's the dry eye glasses?

In case you missed the announcement this summer, we don't sell dry eye glasses anymore. But we're big fans, and always will be. You can get more information on dry eye glasses at this link, along with links to manufacturer sites, and we're always here for questions.

By the way, people sometimes get confused about the terms for these things. We still sell all of the NIGHT moisture goggles and shields for dry eye, just not the daytime optical products, i.e. glasses and sunglasses with moisture shields for use during the day.

New(ish) additions to the shop

OcuSoft HypoChlor Gel (0.02%)

Blue vinyl zipper bag - handy for scleral lens or dry eye supplies

Purilens Plus Minis - 6pack of 2oz travel size bottles

A challenging year: It's been a really rough year for us financially. It was hard to weather at times from a workload standpoint, but in retrospect, I wouldn't change a thing. At times when we were short-staffed due to the tight budget, I was doing most of my own customer service for some weeks at a time. It was an amazing time. It gave me opportunities to reconnect with so many more callers in ways that powerfully reinforced my sense of the needs of dry eye patients and of scleral lens users, and that process helped me tremendously with a number of big-picture decision-making processes I needed to get through this year. 

SBA Emerging Leaders class: Anybody remember me talking about this back in the spring? The class was truly wonderful. It was led by CEO coach Mary Marshall. I can't begin to tell how much I learned... it'll take awhile to assimilate it all. But more than anything, it was instrumental in helping me continuously re-evaluate the big picture, goals, and what I really want to be putting my energy into. 

Which sorta-kinda brings me to something else.

The Dry Eye Foundation

Psst... I'm starting a nonprofit! Just thought I'd slip this in here quietly for those who actually got this far into the email. This is by far the most exciting development this year.

Announcements, longwinded explanations and other conventionalities will come in due course, but I wanted to give my readers a little unofficial heads up. This was honestly a long overdue step. I have run the Dry Eye Shop as a nonprofit every since I started it, in everything but name, tax status and capital sources. Running a company rather than a nonprofit corporation has increasingly been holding me back from things I dearly want to be doing for the dry eye community, and it is finally the right time to take the plunge and embrace change at every level! Wish us luck, and stay tuned as I'll be setting up a GoFundMe soon to cover startup expenses while we wait for IRS approval as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit corp.

By the way... for those of you who are warmly attached to the DryEyeShop in its present form (and thank you... so very grateful for your support!), don't worry, nothing is changing! At some point in this transition process, I'm no longer going to own it personally, because obviously I don't want to be running a nonprofit and a business at the same time, but I promise you the heart of the company - its mission and vision - will remain as it ever was, only more so.

Have a great week, everyone!

Rebecca

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The Dry Eye Shop | 20720 State Hwy 305 NE Ste 2A Poulsbo, WA 98370 | 1-877-693-7939