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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.
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.
With public health bodies and clinical commissioning groups now seeking single organisations to manage local services, Steve Hemsley examines the benefits for community pharmacists and pharmacies when creating pharmacy provider companies to tender for new services, as well as the risks and challenges posed by this new approach.
Joanna Mills, consumer and influencer insight manager at specialist over-the-counter pharmaceutical company Perrigo, uses examples from Warman-Freed pharmacy in London to explain how pharmacists can increase their sales of non-prescription products.
Healthcare is changing dramatically and so are the needs of our patients. As such, GPs and our teams are changing the ways in which we are working, but we also need our patients to play their part.
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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
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.
Healthcare professionals should advise non-pharmacological therapies for the initial treatment of minor ailments, such as eye conditions, in women who are pregnant. A conservative approach reduces the risk of exposing the unborn baby to medicines and their metabolites.