HOW ONE PRACTICE PITCHES NUTRACEUTICALS

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VisionArts Eyecare Center recommends MacuHealth for macular support, Nordic Naturals for omega-3 benefits and LifePak Nano for comprehensive support.

Healthy eyes start with a healthy you. This motto summarizes the conversation VisionArts Eyecare Center has with patients regarding eye health and nutrition. 

The Food and Drug Administration makes it clear that good nutrition and supplementation cannot claim to prevent or cure any disease. The National Eye Institute, however, recommends a diet high in antioxidants, as well as vitamin and mineral supplements. This recommendation is based on numerous studies that indicate certain nutrients can impact the health of the eye.

WHY EYE NUTRIENTS
In addition to a nutrient-rich diet, I often recommend supplementation. Three macular pigments in the vitamin A family, lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin, are of particular importance to eye health. These carotenoids, which the body cannot produce on its own, help maintain healthy cells by reducing oxidative stress on the eye. They also absorb blue and UV light. Retinol, also from the vitamin A family, is a basic building block for the retinal rhodopsin necessary for proper vision in low light conditions. Finally, omega-3 fatty acids, which also cannot be produced by the body, provide many ocular benefits including protection against macular degeneration and dry eye syndrome.

PROVIDING EDUCATION
Ocular nutrition has always been a focus in my practice, any revenue boost is merely a bonus. Eyecare professionals often resist in-office supplement sales, presumably due to their desire to avoid a “hard-sell.” The key: educate your patients. At VisionArts Eyecare Center, we track nutrient absorption with a biophotonic scanner that searches for the presence of fifteen carotenoid nutrients absorbed from foods and supplements. This simple scan provides accurate information about each patient”™s current nutrient level and helps connect clinical findings to dietary and supplemental needs, thus opening the door for me to provide my recommendations without a “hard-sell” approach.

I also show patients their Optomap images and discuss ways to protect the retina from the outside (Transitions photochromic technology, blue blocking lenses, sunwear, etc.) Reviewing these test results with the patient provides the opportunity to offer product recommendations should the patient show interest.

SUPPLYING SUPPLEMENTS
Product labels can be confusing for patients, and quality varies widely among brands. By offering supplements in our practice we control the quality of the products our patients purchase. My choices include MacuHealth for macular support, Nordic Naturals for omega-3 support and Lifepak Nano for comprehensive support. An added benefit of selling these supplements is the repeated purchase of a consumable product. We have a saying in our office, “What”™s good for the patient is good for the practice.” Supplement sales are an excellent example of the truth that statement carries.

James W. Vann, OD, CHC, AADP, of VisionArts Eyecare Center, Fulton, MO, is also a certified holistic health practitioner. He is a recipient of CooperVision”™s 2015 Best Practices award, which honors leaders in optometry who deliver innovative patient care.

 

WHERE TO FIND IT:
Lifepak Nano
800.487.1000 | nuskin.com

MacuHealth
866-530-3222 | macuhealth.com

Nordic Naturals
800.662.2544 | nordicnaturals.com

Optos
800.854.3039 | optos.com

Transitions Optical, Inc.  
800.848.1506 | transitions.com
customerservice@transitions.com

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