In order to get the most from eye treatments, it is important to apply them effectively and store them correctly.
Pharmacists should advise patients to maintain good lid hygiene to manage blepharitis. Antibiotic drops or ointments, or low-dose antibiotic courses should be considered if hygiene changes are ineffective.
Many over-the-counter products for dry eye disease contain preservatives. These can help make products last longer once opened and mean products can be available in multi-dose packaging.
Specialist intervention may be required for patients who have severe dry eye disease, or if the condition does not respond to artificial tears or other treatment.
Highlights of CPD and learning in 2017Subscription
Try our quiz, with questions taken from this year’s learning and CPD articles, and check your knowledge of subjects ranging from sepsis and skin cancer to coeliac disease.
Over-the-counter treatments for dry eye disease are available in several different formulations including drops, gels, creams, ointments and sprays. Some of these formulations are known as ‘artificial tears’.
If a patient enters the pharmacy with eye symptoms, there are several questions pharmacy staff can ask to help find out whether their symptoms may be related to dry eye disease.
Computer vision syndrome is a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged computer, tablet, e-reader and mobile phone use. Patients may present to pharmacies complaining of eye discomfort and vision problems, so pharmacists and pharmacy teams should be able to distinguish the factors involved for particular patients
July 2017 saw publication of the fourth edition of ‘Drug misuse and dependence: UK guidelines on clinical management’, also known as the Orange Book, which provides guidance that supports healthcare professionals in the field of dependence on illicit and licit medicines. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams should be aware of this online-only update and what the changes mean for practice.
Community pharmacists are uniquely placed to deliver hepatitis C virus testing and treatment, and could help efforts in reaching the World Health Organization target for elimination of the disease by 2030.
Although children take responsibility for taking their medications at different ages, involving parents, and where possible children, in decision making is key to medicines optimisation.
How to diagnose and manage Trichomonas vaginalisSubscription
Trichomonas vaginalis, also known as trichomoniasis, is a curable sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by a parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis. The majority of infected individuals are asymptomatic or have non-specific symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. Therefore, appropriate treatment and prevention strategies are important to prevent its spread.
Understand how to advise on chronic-open angle glaucoma, a condition in which intraocular pressure can permanently damage the optic nerve and nerve fibre, leading to blindness if left untreated.
July 2017 saw publication of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society International Dry Eye Workshop report, an update to the 2007 report that became the reference for clinicians, researchers and industry on dry eye. Pharmacy is a frequent point of for patients with a dry eye condition. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams should therefore be aware of its changing definiton, causes, diagnosis and management.
Each person’s experience of mild cognitive impairment and dementia will be quite different. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams are well placed to assist in both the early identification of dementia, as well as to help patients manage their medicines.
More than two million people are affected by sight loss across the UK, which may impact on their ability to use and take their medicines correctly and safely. Here, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Medicines Use and Safety team and Moorfields Eye Hospital provide advice and recommendations for pharmacy to provide appropriate support for people with sight loss.
Patients of all ages visit their pharmacy to seek advice on a variety of conditions affecting their feet, but some groups, including the young and active, people with diabetes and elderly patients, are at higher risk of developing common foot conditions. Produced in partnership with RB.
Around 500,000 print copies of the BNF and BNF for Children are distributed to healthcare professionals each year. A new app which combines BNF and BNF for Children content ensures the availability of drug information through a smart device.
Children may be exposed to potentially harmful excipients, essential components of drug formulations, through unlicensed and off-label use of adult medicines. Excipient exposure should be minimised, although a medicine containing a problem excipient may be indicated, but only after a careful risk–benefit assessment.
Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are ideally placed to offer advice to patients on the use of sunscreens to limit UV exposure, reducing their risk of developing melanoma.
Rashes in childrenSubscription
Rashes in children are common and may be difficult to differentiate by appearance alone, therefore, it is important to consider the entire clinical presentation in order to make the appropriate diagnosis.
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a highly contagious, acute bacterial infection. It can affect people of all ages, but is especially dangerous in vulnerable groups, such as unimmunised infants.
Anticipatory prescribing enables patients in the last days and weeks of their lives to have their symptoms managed at home. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to provide practical support and advice to other healthcare professionals on the prescribing and administration of anticipatory medicines and to facilitate timely supply.
Earache is a common problem that can be the result of a variety of different pathologies. It is important for pharmacists and healthcare professionals to appropriately diagnose primary and secondary earache and ear infections.
Advising patients on halitosis and oral hygieneSubscription
Halitosis (bad breath) is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for patients to seek dental care, following tooth decay and gum disease. Pharmacists are ideally placed to promote oral health and provide patients with advice on the prevention and management of halitosis.
Every community pharmacy team will come into with cancer patients or their family members. This article aims to provide community pharmacists and healthcare professionals with the tools to be able to speak confidently to patients with cancer and summarises the useful resources available.
It is estimated that in the UK there are more than half a million people with clinically undiagnosed coeliac disease, caused by an adverse immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can play a key role in identifying individuals with symptoms, referring them for testing, ultimately leading to earlier diagnosis.
Pharmacists and healthcare professionals can provide appropriate and comprehensive preconception care by identifying couples who are at risk of having a baby with a genetic or chromosomal malformation and can empower the couple by giving them enough knowledge to make informed decisions.
Understanding the aims of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and what they mean for pharmacySubscription
An overview of sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) — which the NHS will use to deliver the ‘Five year forward view’ — and how to work with them.
Communicating with palliative care patients nearing the end of life, their families and carersSubscription
Pharmacists are becoming increasingly involved in palliative care and can be a source of important information and support for patients at the end of life. Health professionals caring for patients with advanced illness should develop skills for communicating with patients, and their families and carers.