Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Physiological Optics degrees from the UAB School of Optometry. Dr. Bowling is a Diplomate in the Primary Care Section of the American Academy of Optometry. He practices in Gadsden, AL.
Andrew M. Brown, MD, is an allergist and immunologist with 47 years of experience and practices in otolaryngology, allergy, and immunology, and has been in practice in Gadsden, AL for the last 40 years. He graciously took time from his extremely busy practice, the largest allergy practice in the area, to talk with me. I started with the question: What would you like to tell an in-the-trenches optometrist about allergy?
Ocular allergy is one of the most common ocular surface diseases seen in a primary eyecare practice. Allergic conjunctivitis (AC) often exists concurrently with rhinitis and asthma, and patients with allergic rhinitis frequently present with symptoms of AC. AC is often linked to allergic rhinitis and requires co-treatment.
This issue is our annual allergy issue. I’ve often joked that in the spring, a young man’s thoughts turns to love, while an old optometrist’s thoughts turns to ocular allergy. Treating our patients who present with seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a large part of a primary-care optometric practice, especially this time of year.
The NBEO has made both an obvious and a very courageous decision to embrace its certification as board certification in general optometry. Obvious in that more than 10,000 ODs already represent themselves to be board certified by the NBEO to the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare (CAQH) and subsequently to the health plans that rely on CAQH for credentialing. And it was courageous, as I’m certain the NBEO faced opposition to its action.
I know it is human nature to ignore our mortality. I also know running a small business like most of us do, we have our eyes on temporal problems: payroll, staff, insurance. All these little fires leave us with no time for other things, and what gets neglected most often is ourselves.
Now that my children are grown and on their own, I'm thinking I want to harken back to earlier times and make a Christmas wish list. Not one for myself, as I could not ask for more, but a Christmas wish list for my colleagues and for my profession.
Preventing CL dropouts can be a challenge with patients suffering from CLIDE. A number of factors, including the patient’s overall general health, the type of contact lens worn and solution interaction, among others, can influence the condition. Predicting which CL patients are more likely to develop dry eye helps you tailor management to the individual patient needs and set realistic patient goals for successful lens wear.
I used to take noncompliance personally. I was failing my patients as their eye doctor. After all, it’s my job to explain the risks of contact lens wear and care non-compliance, and if my patients weren’t complying then I must be doing a poor job of communicating those risks. One of the many points I learned: It’s not my fault!