Eyecare practitioners each have their own differing opinion when it comes to cosmetic niches in optometry. However, according to Optometric Office’s recent survey, an overwhelming 96% of respondents agreed that there is a shortage of information/education about cosmetic optometry geared toward eyecare practitioners. This lack of knowledge in the profession will need to be addressed in order to tackle patients’ questions regarding such areas as dermatochalasis, benign lesions, and of course, eyelash enhancements. Below are some comments from your colleagues about why they do or do not incorporate cosmetic niches into their practices and which cosmetic initiatives, if any, they are utilizing.

Briefly explain why you have or have not decided to incorporate cosmetic niches into your business.

“No information available.”

“Patients demand it and we are always at the forefront of eyecare. Docs have to learn to satisfy PATIENT NEEDS!”

“I think there is a demand and a need to be fulfilled. I feel that we, as optometrists, are far more qualified to speak with a patient about using Latisse than a dentist or even the plastic surgeon that does augmentations, lipo, etc. We cover so much in the exam room, but we should supply the information and the products, if you can prescribe in your state, to the patient because we are the eye experts!”

“I have because it is important to remain current and offer all available procedures to patients. If they don’t hear about them from me, they’ll eventually hear about from someone else, and go to that place.”

“It will be very important to a doctor and staff to be trained to respond to all possible questions that any patients may have.”

“Lack of knowledge of current products and services available.”

“Proactively discussing cosmetic issues such as dermatochalasis, benign eyelid skin tumors, etc. has excited my patient base in many ways, not the least of which is their continued realization that we are not just ‘selling glasses’ in our total care for their health.”

“Lack of information.”

“Takes up a lot of chair time and our patient population isn’t asking for it.”

“Don’t have enough info to really do it well.”

“If patient asks about it, we discuss it, but it isn’t on the top of my head to discuss with ‘regular’ patients.”

“It doesn’t fit my definition of Optometry.”

“I already spend enough time explaining options for contacts, glasses, and LASIK.”

“We do incorporate cosmetic procedures – we do not do it with every patient.”

“I have been involved in eyelash enhancements for approximately the last 10 years. After seeing how happy the patients were, I enrolled and became certified in permanent cosmetics and teamed up with a RN also involved in permanent cosmetics. I recently retired due to a heart condition but the nurse is still actively involved and doing a bang up business. It is something ANY and ALL ODs can learn to do and it sure is fun and brightens up your day and that of your patient.”

“I think it’s a great addition to practice though haven’t taken the time to figure out how best to add it. Seems to me great marketing materials and boutique style area in office needs to be set up.”

“Just never thought about it.”

“Amount of time used does not equal income. It takes up a lot of chair time and equals nothing for my bottom line.”

“Our practice marketing strategy focuses on women (the health care decision makers) ages 30-65. This market is interested in contact lenses, great looking eyewear and other options that make them look as good as they feel.”

“I feel it has no place in the practice of optometry.”

“Oculoplastics is a very big business. Patients will find out about one way or another.”

“I haven’t really thought about it, but I would be interested in learning more.”

“Do not know much about them and how to implement.”

“My patient is very elderly and not interested.”

“Simply because very few, if any, of my patients need it.”

“It is part of total primary eyecare that is expected by patients in our practice. Who better to advice on options than one that has no vested interest other than the patient to guide the process. Patients expect and appreciate this service. It is another tool for future practice growth so why not offer it.”

“I am prepared to answer patient questions about cosmetic procedures and medicines but leave the initiation up to the patient.”

“I work for a large HMO—no time.”

“Not the main focus of our office.”

“Not a strong demand for cosmetic solutions other than fashionable eyewear.”

“The subject will come up during an examination and being aware of the various options available to our patients helps to guide our patients and improve our service as well.”

“I have incorporated cosmetic advice to help patients be aware of the possible.”

“Lack of training and knowledge.”

“I discuss cosmetic options with most patients.”

“Yes—public demand and helps create a more upscale patient base.”

“We had patients requesting cosmetic treatments.”

“No area demand.”

“My practice specializes in vision therapy; cosmetic niches don’t apply to my patient base.”

“In my training, optometry was/is all about visual enhancement, NOT, necessarily cosmetic enhancement. We have enough visual problems to consider and solve, whether they be functional, neurological, optical, physical, or medical problems. There are many facets of eyecare to consider and correct or enhance. I doubt if most optometrists look at all the things they could do to improve functional/physical vision, especially the new ODs who are so medically oriented. Maybe cosmetic procedures could be added as an additional service, but not for me in my lifetime. BUT! In my life as an optometrist and looking at businesses, I see they/we all start our selling one product or procedure and after a time they cannot make enough $$$ doing it…”

“I offer cosmetic choices very selectively. Usually the information I give to patients is limited by the amount of time I have in the exam lane. So, by necessity the information I give must be prioritized to meet the patients’ primary complaints and my checklist of “Doctor Recommendations,” the extras like Latisse, etc. are at the bottom of my list, and after patient questions and clarifications may not be able to be addressed.”

“Medical procedures (except in rare instances) for purely cosmetic reasons are unethical and usually hyped and made light of by practitioners of the art.”

“I have an oculoplastic surgeon see patients in the my office because it makes sense that patients come to us to look better…that’s why they wear contact lenses and/or purchase trendy frames with thin lenses!!”

“With time, the profit centers of eyewear sales will continue to decrease in profitability so optometry needs to find other niche areas to replace lost income. Medical optometric care and cosmetic income sources should be encouraged in order to survive in the marketplace long term.”

“I have not had adequate education on anything really, other than Latisse and blepharoplasty.”

“I don’t know if enough patients would be interested.”

“We believe that each patient not only wishes to see the world clearly, but also present themselves beautifully. Therefore, we make recommendations that will help them achieve their aesthetic goals.”

“Subject does not come up often.”

“I am currently in dialogue with an oculo-plastic surgeon so that our practice can offer injectable and surgical cosmetic procedures in house. This will also bring medically necessary oculo-plastic procedures in house as well. I think this is a real value to our patients. I think cosmetic optometry will be especially well received in more rural areas where patients are having to drive for cosmetic procedures and/or medically needed oculo-plastic procedures. In larger cities with better access to these services, it may be a less useful benefit for patients and a less profitable venture for the practice.”

“Incorporating cosmetic procedures into the practice is another way to separate my practice from others. It makes ones practice stand out more.”

“Lack of knowledge and no inquiries.”

“We are predominantly a medical practice, have a highly trained and experienced staff to answer questions about cosmetic procedures, and a significant percentage of patients asking about cosmetics options.”

“It’s my job to give patients options regarding their care. Whether the options are regarding multifocal CL, toric IOLs, or cosmetic procedures, many of their options are unknown to patients until I bring up their alternatives in case presentation.”

“Haven’t made it a priority item to do.”

What cosmetic initiatives, if any, are you incorporating?

“Latisse as well as cosmetic advice and brands to buy.”

“I would love to explore botox within my optometry field.”

“We discuss blepharoplasty, excision of papillomas, pterygium removal, Latisse and other treatments of the lids and lashes. We routinely dressup the patient’s face with a beautiful pair of eyewear and we discuss colored contacts, why not talk to them about other options as well? We are also considering skin care since the damaging effects of UV rays can affect the eyes and the skin around their eyes!”

“I refer to an oculoplastic surgeon locally for surgical procedures. I can only legally prescribe Latisse for medical eyelash loss.”

“At the least, skin tag (papilloma, verucae, etc.) removals are always offered. We also offer Latisse prescribing, Blepharoplasty, and strabismus surgery. People with mis-aligned eyes are very self-conscious.”

“We had a staff member trained to learn eye lash extensions and do it in our office. We have an MD in office who does Botox and Blepharoplastys. We Rx Latisse and refer to a woman for permanent make up.”



“Eye creams, supplements, and referrals to cosmetic surgeons.”

“Just consultation with qualified surgeons.”

“We are commonly referred for blepharoplasty related to the impact on vision, which opened the door to referrals for non-vision related requests (botox, skin care, face lifts, etc). We write Rxs for Latisse and also recommend OTC products. At our special events (sort of like a trunk show) often includes complimentary brow waxing by the local plastic surgeon’s aesthetic team or eye makeovers (a professional makeup artist will teach patients how to enhance the appearance of their eyes when wearing glasses). We have even hosted educational seminars where one of the speakers was our plastic surgery referral source.”

“Surgeon in office once a month.”

“Latisse for lashes and blepharoplasty work ups for lids. Cosmetic contacts have been long time staples of our contact lens practice.”

“Botox, Juvederm, Restylane, blepharoplasty, brow lifts, etc.”

“Prescribing Latisse when appropriate. Providing eyeliner tattoo and blepheroplasty referals. I am considering Botox injections as a service.”

“I remove skin tags, Latisse, referral for blepharoplasty, ptosis.”

“Blepharoplasty consultations and Latisse.”

“Lid procedures and Latisse.”

“Eyelash enhancing. We also co- manage with ocular plastic surgeons.”

“Recommendations for eyelash enhancement.”

“Latisse, lump, and bump surgery and lid lifts.”

“We offer a surgeon in-house that can do blepharoplasties, Botox, facial fillers, cosmetic facial lasers, etc.”

“Currently we market and prescribe Latisse to patients while other periorbital skin care products are being evaluated and considered for recommendation to patients.”

“Latisse; also offer to send out for removal of benign lesions and blepharoplasties.”

“Discussions only of Latisse and discussions and visual field testing for blepharoplasty referral.”

“I just offer lash help when needed.”

“Generally, do not recommend cosmetic initiatives. But if it is important to a patient, we will do what we can or refer.”

“Colorpuncture treatments.”

“Consultations on blepharoplasty, forehead lifts, other facial/orbital surgery.”

“Currently only Latisse. Will be bringing an oculo-plastic surgeon in soon.”

“Eyelash growth and beginning to use Botox.”

“Blepharoplasty, laser treatments, Latisse, injections and fillers.”

“Lash enhancement and lid procedures.”


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