By Walt Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO

The evidence of a booming aesthetics business is everywhere. Think about the last time you read a magazine or watched television and did not see an advertisement for some type of cosmetic or aesthetic product or procedure. Although not traditionally seen as part of our optometric scope, who is better positioned to educate, treat, and recommend the optimal aesthetic products, services and treatments? Patients who come to our practices are looking for the latest trends in eyewear, eye care, and fashion, from spectacle frames and lens designs to sun protection to contact lenses—some even ask about cosmetics and skin products. Whether patients purchase a pair of glasses for everyday wear or multiple pairs to accessorize, their goal is to look great, to feel great, and to see great. Our practices excel at addressing our patients’ visual, medical, and optical needs; however, we have an opportunity to take it a step further. This is what cosmetometry is all about: keeping optometry on the forefront of the aesthetics world.

This issue of AOC is an educational resource for you, your patients, and your practice. Patients are always looking for products and services that can enhance their appearance, no matter their age. Teenagers model the “experts” such as their older sister or friends when it comes to how to put on makeup and which products to purchase. Our more mature patients are looking for the fountain of youth and are willing to invest in products and services that can help achieve that goal. We must be their resource! Women optometrists, likely being more frequent users of cosmetics and aesthetic services, may be a step ahead of us men in terms of understanding this issue. Nonetheless, we all can learn how to address frequent questions on recommendations for cosmetics, face creams, lid procedures, injections, and fillers. If patients are looking for injections or surgical options, we can use our existing relationships with ophthalmologists and cosmetic surgeons and integrate aesthetic care. If you do not already have relationships established in this realm, now is the time to promote your practice to these providers, so you can extend your practice’s elective services.

Our cover focus in this issue of AOC reveals the endless opportunities we in eye care have access to that help our patients think, act, look, and feel beautiful. We delve into topics such as antiaging products, skin care, blepharoplasty, and the effect cosmetics have on the ocular surface. As you read these articles, think about how you can use this information and incorporate aesthetics into your practice. Our patients are hungry for information and they seek out our professional advice and recommendations.

I challenge you to make the time now to seize this opportunity for patients and the profession. Whether they want to admit it or not, personal appearance is important to our patients. When it comes to ocular adnexa and the entire face, eye care plays a critical role. Discuss these offerings with your patients and market your practice. Patients already look to us as the experts, so we need to take the next step and engage them with aesthetic offerings. n

Walt Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Medical Editor
Advanced Ocular Care