This week in KeratoScoop: Systane "Complete". Lumify. Scleral lens blog. Come to NKCF in Chapel Hill! Pricing philosophy. Mixing it up on night protection products. Backorders and dropshipping. Lanolin in ointments. Donate? Office updates.

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June 7, 2018  Newsletter  -  Volume 10 - Issue 15

Night dry eye plaguing you?

Browse our complete collection and helpful articles!

Dry Eye 101

Apropos of Systane Complete

In the last issue, I puzzled over the minimally perceptible difference between the "new" Systane Complete and the old Systane Balance. The ingredient lists and bottles appearing identical, any difference seems wrapped up in "nano droplets".

Well, this question has now been further illuminated: It's all about the new Venus Williams-centered anything-but-nano marketing campaign Alcon is launching. The drop may be warmed-over Systane Balance, but I suppose at least it will generate some excellent publicty for dry eye and, presumably, Sjogrens Syndrome. (Incidentally, Alcon says the drop will be available in late June.)

Of redness relief and Lumify, and frying pans and fires

There is lots of Lumify talk going on on Dry Eye Talk. Jump in! Doctors, I would love to hear your take especially.

Eye whitening treatments are a contentious area for people with dry eye. In the forums, there's been lots of talk over the years about the various options, including surgeries. 

I tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to posts about redness reliever eyedrops on DryEyeTalk because this class of drops is so frequently subject to over-use without an understanding of the risks from preservative toxicity and from rebound redness. Many people have had damage from chronic use for want of the right information in time. And in the forums, of course, so many people already have corneal disease of one sort or another; if they over-use redness relievers (and, unfortunately, the labels give NO useful guidance about what constitutes over-use) they may be subject to both rebound redness and the harmful cumulative effects of the preservative, compounding their existing issues. Lumify, of course, is a different type of redness reliever and promises to have much lower risk of rebound redness. But it's still BAK preserved, still not suitable for frequent use, and... still sold OTC with inadequate instructions and warnings. Hence, the way Lumify is marketed is a concern to me. Better? Probably. A safe daily use drop? Absolutely not! Look at the masses of medical studies about the risks of BAK preserved daily glaucoma drops. Why are redness relievers, sold without a prescription, getting a free pass?

It's not that I'm unsympathetic to the need. I know that chronic redness can have a substantial impact on quality of life. I find this a particularly poignant problem for young people just getting launched in life. Assumptions and judgments are often made about the causes of their red eyes - which can be harmful to their schooling and career prospects at a vulnerable time, as well as their social lives. I bring this up partly because their temptation to use quick fixes may be especially strong and comes at a time of life when they are least likely to have excellent insurance coverage. Using over-the-counter drops without a doctor being consulted at all is common, while undiagnosed dry eye, ocular allergy or other factors may be brewing. It makes me sad to think of people turning to remedies that might make them worse before they know what's wrong or what's the right way to deal with it.

Caution, and please educate your friends and family. Keep the redness relievers, including Lumify, for use on special occasions only.

Scleral lens blog

Check out this excellent series of blog posts from a member - she's packed it with useful ideas and advice! I particularly liked her tip about something you can keep a PROSE case in to prevent the drips. 

Upcoming events

June 23, 2018 - NKCF Family Symposium (Chapel Hill, NC)
Yours truly gets to go speak at this one too - can't wait! Hope to see some of you there.

October 5, 2018 - Orange County Dry Eye Support Group meeting (Laguna Hills, CA). Click here for details and to RSVP.

Know of an event that should be listed here? Please send details!

Want to connect with other dry eye patients or scleral lens users? Join a group!

Dry Eye Talk (Forum)
DryEyeTalk (Facebook)
My Big Fat Scleral Lens (Facebook)

How we price our products, and why

Here's an article I wrote on the fly recently for the shop blog, as I was wrestling with price increases. Writing proved therapeutic. The reasons for price changes became increasingly clear as I wrote, from the nature of a service-based small business to our obligation to keep our services sustainable.

The reason it was so long in coming and so difficult for me (other than that my history is much more about advocacy than actual business skills) is that historically, we've always tried so hard to serve people on fixed incomes or unemployed. I suppose it is entrenched in my thinking that we need to keep things as low priced as possible. Well, the simple fact is, low prices are not possible in a small business, especially a small business dragged willy-nilly into lens care products. Those of you who need to price-shop, we are here for you too with information and advice at all times and when you need help finding lower cost sources, don't hesitate to ask us. Your words of kindness and support are just as highly valued here as the dollars spent by all who support us by shopping here. 

Drop-shipping updates

We're continuing to have certain products sent to you direct from the manufacturers, especially in cases where it will get to you quicker that way. The packaging may look different, but it's still all from us, and we're still 100% here to serve you!

Dry Eye Glasses

It's summer, all about outdoor activities and... wind protection for your dry eyes! Browse a large collection of dry eye sunglasses for all budgets, sizes and tastes.

TIP: Need windproof sunglasses, but also need to be able to read up close? The following styles are available with ready-made plus readers in +1.5, +2.0 or +2.5 strength, in either grey tinted or clear lenses: Bora, Briza, Cape, Churada, Derby, Panhead and Taku Plus.

Image of 7Eye Briza Airshield

7Eye Briza Airshield


Buy Now
Image of 7Eye Viento AirShield

7Eye Viento AirShield


Buy Now
Image of 7Eye Taku Plus Airshield

7Eye Taku Plus Airshield


Buy Now
PROSE & Scleral lens supplies

I have had difficulty keeping LacriPure in stock. This is my fault, not the manufacturer's, and my sincere apologies to anyone affected. Doing our best, and trying to keep up at least with the subscription orders, and most of all trying to keep everyone up to date on order status. If you cannot get it from us at the time you need it, you could try Modudose (with your doctor's permission, as it's an off label use - Modudose is an Addipak lookalike) otherwise you're best off purchasing LacriPure direct from Menicon. 

Don't forget our Preservative Free Saline Guide for when you have questions!

Oasis Lid and Lash Cleanser
Feel like trying something new? Oasis Lid & Lash gel cleanser is a unique format - gel, instead of foam or pads. Gentle and soothing. $30
Oasis Lid & Lash Cleanser
Drops, gels and ointments

Refresh PM is, of course, still on backorder. I spoke with them a few days ago and they said early to mid July, which is actually approaching. If we have it back before the anniversary of the cause of the disruption (Hurricane Maria) that'll be as much as I'm expecting at this point.

I was reminded during a conversation yesterday, though, about the issue of lanolin alcohol in ointments. Nearly all lubricating eye ointments on the market contain petrolatum, mineral oil, and... lanolin alcohol. It's not a problem for most people, but some are allergic to lanolin. Tip: The two brands I know of that do not contain lanolin alcohol are PureLube and B&L's Soothe Nighttime Ointment.

Add our Ingredient Reference List to your favorites - and forward the link to your doctor if they're not aware of it!

Donate to the Dry Eye Zone's upcoming
Dry Eye Awareness Month publicity campaign!

Dry Eye Awareness Month is a month packed with pharmaceutical marketing. We're teaming up with others to offer a non-commercial alterntive to all the noise - aimed at education, education and more education for patients and doctors alike on the most real, practical issues facing us dry eye patients.

(HUGE THANK YOU to those who already have! We appreciate you!)

Meantime at the office...

SBA class update

We had the second session of the financial module in our SBA Emerging Leaders class in Seattle on Monday. It was fantastic. I was frantically scribbling or typing for the better part of three hours... so much intensely useful and practical information. It would be awfully nice if the world could please just stop spinning for twenty minutes or so, so I can assimilate and implement the things I'm learning, instead of having to juggle an impossible number of balls at the same time. We are (still) distinctly in the "it gets worse before it gets better" stage. The day will come when I look back on this with gratitude for everything I learned. Meantime, it's a bit excruciating.

Staffing updates

The hell weeks of May are past, and for one lovely but much too short week, I've had Aidan here full time. While Aidan's been a key part of the team for more than two years (he worked summers of 2016 and 2017 and telecommuted from college a bit in between), he's never done customer service before, so that's been a really fun change! The intention was to have him for a couple of months (till he heads to Europe). Sadly, finances do not seem to be cooperating, so the extent to which I'll be able to have him here is pretty questionable right now, but I hope lots of you get to experience Aidan when you call.

Meantime, my daughter Chaidie is coming up to speed rapidly on all different types of information and projects that I've been tossing her way. School ends Friday, so she'll be spending more time at the office and who knows, if push comes to shove, she may be manning the phones as well, though I'm really wanting her help more on writing, as she's a terrific writing. Chaidie has had a lifetime of exposure to dry eye talk - she was born in London about a year after I had the LASIK procedure that caused my eye issues - and is discovering that she absorbed even more over the years than she ever realized.

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!


About KeratoScoop

KeratoScoop is Rebecca Petris's weekly newseletter on dry eye and scleral lens topics.

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