Susan Moss, OD, puts her holistic approach to eye care front and center at her practice in Bellaire, Texas. And she’s found plenty of patients who want that kind of therapy.
At least 80 percent of her patients use homeopathic products, she says. She provides natural products to treat a wide range of conditions, including dry eye, floaters, corneal erosion and allergies. Dr. Moss is a member of the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control, the American Naturopathic Medical Association and the Ocular Nutrition Society.
While there are other ODs who provide some homeopathic treatments, integrative medicine has been the focus of her practice for more than a decade. Natural Ophthalmics is a main supplier for her practice. The products “are wonderful and they’re reasonably priced,” she says. A patient recently came in complaining that the cheapest prescription drops she could find cost $150. Homeopathic products “are less than $25, and they work,” Dr. Moss says.
She also says homeopathic products are generally easier on the patients. Using homeopathic drops is a total win-win. Patients get better, and the drops are a reasonable price.
For dry eye patients, for example, over-the-counter artificial tears, with or without preservatives, provide a replacement and substitute for real tears. The relief might be immediate, but it’s typically short-term, says Dr. Moss. Natural Ophthalmics Tear Stimulation Drops work therapeutically to stimulate the eyes to moisturize with their own mechanisms. In others words, she tells patients, they support and stimulate the immune system rather than mask it or even suppress it. These drops are non-preserved and do not sting, and they are great for pediatric patients.
The Allergy Desensitization Drops similarly stimulate the body’s own ability to eliminate symptoms of ocular allergies. Unlike treatments that are aimed at blocking the histamine process and suppressing the symptoms, these drops stimulate the eyes and body to counteract the allergy process naturally.
Dr. Moss also has a robust orthokeratology practice. Natural Ophthalmics offers two varieties of Ortho-K Drops, Thick and Thin. The Thick formula is often used just prior to inserting the lens at night and also after the lens has been inserted. The Thin formula is used upon waking to facilitate lens removal and can be used during the day to alleviate dryness, redness or discomfort. Having these products available improves her Ortho-K patients’ satisfaction and overall experience, she says.
The Ortho-K Thin Drops are being used successfully for patients experiencing contact lens discomfort. It can be used with soft and scleral lenses in place.
Homeopathy fits in with the movement toward more natural options, such as farm-to-table foods, organic produce and complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), which include treatments such as acupuncture and massage to alleviate pain. According to the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, about 40 percent of adults in the U.S. use CAM therapies, with the percentage greater among women and people with higher levels of education and higher incomes. U.S. consumer spending on CAM therapies is about $34 billion annually.
Dr. Moss would like to see the use of homeopathic treatments increase. She’d like to see the profession add a certification process so other ODs can adopt holistic therapies. Until then, Natural Ophthalmics offers doctors an easy way to dispense natural eye care.