It’s Not Just Eyes

Doctor considers the whole patient at her holistic practice

For Robin Sapossnek, OD, FCOVD, eye care has always been about the whole person. In fact, she named her Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, practice Holistic Vision to demonstrate that holistic care “has always been my orientation” in her 36 years of practicing.

Patients visiting this practice, north of Philadelphia, are aware of the array of therapies she offers, spanning natural and complementary medicines, high-tech therapies and the latest medications. She’s become increasingly familiar with Natural Ophthalmics products, which means that many of her patients are learning about them, too. “I’ve used them in many ways, many times,” she says.

No Eye-Rolling
The practice offers traditional eye exams and eye care. It also provides vision therapy, vision rehabilitation, sports vision and orthokeratology. In addition, Dr. Sapossnek is schooled in alternative therapies. “People can talk to me about what they’re doing and be confident I’m not going to roll my eyes,” she says.

As a full-scope provider, she recognizes that there are times when a prescribed medication might work best for a particular patient or condition, but there are other times when she and the patient want to consider the options. Natural Ophthalmics products “give us another way to help people that isn’t just reaching for a medication,” she says.

“My go-to products are the Natural Ophthalmics Allergy Drops and the Tear Stimulation Drops,” Dr. Sapossnek says. With the Allergy Drops, if a patient comes in with a condition “that is chronic and low grade, I’ll offer that as a primary treatment,” she says.

With dry eye complaints, she’ll often start a patient with Natural Ophthalmics Tear Stimulation Drops. She’ll also suggest hot compresses and high-potency/high-quality fish oil supplements. “So it’s a combination of treatment options, and nothing stands alone,” she says.

A recent patient wanted to move away from prescription allergy drops, so Dr. Sapossnek is slowly weaning her off of them in favor of Natural Ophthalmics Allergy Drops. This patient’s initial symptoms were severe, so Dr. Sapossnek started with prescription drops four times a day. “She wanted to get her treatments to a point where homeopathic drops were enough,” she says.

Boosting the Immune System
Homeopathic allergy drops trigger a response in the body’s immune system, so they act differently than immunosuppressive medications. Patients often like that approach because they don’t want to take more medication than is absolutely necessary. That request is fairly common, she says. “Some of my patients ask, ‘What can you give me that is not a medication?’ And I’ll use an alternative when I think it is warranted.”

She has patients who have been using Natural Ophthalmics products for years, she says, noting that the Women’s Tear Stimulation Eye Drops “have been a staple in my office. They are effective and inexpensive, and the fact that you can use it with contact lenses is relevant.”

Her approach is to reach for every kind of effective treatment. “Natural Ophthalmics is an adjunct to other traditional and alternative treatments I use,” she says. “A patient’s diet and lifestyle can play a role. When patients come in, I don’t just take a medical history. I’m also interested in what supplements they’re taking and what other health care providers they see.”

Understanding the scope of a patient’s care “lets me know what treatments can be effective,” she says. “You have to consider risk and benefits and a patient’s lifestyle and how to minimize medical interventions. One of the big advantages of Natural Ophthalmics products is that you don’t have side effects. Plus, the cost is low.”

She is able to offer patients a variety of options that will fit their lifestyle and to encourage them gently toward healthier choices in nutrition and physical activity. In turn, they leave her office feeling that she is focused on their overall well-being, not only on how well they can see the eye chart.