When I think back on my ocular disease classes from optometry school, a few clinical pearls really stand out in mind. One of them that I use nearly every day in patient care? “Is it red? It probably needs steroids.” Gone are the days where doctors should be hesitant to prescribe anti-inflammatories for controlling ocular surface irritation and discomfort, of course after ruling out the few conditions that would be contraindicated first. The most effective doctors in today’s healthcare market stand out from urgent care clinics and ERs by judiciously and expertly prescribing anti-inflammatories where needed, getting patients back to looking and feeling better faster than antibiotics alone (especially when they aren’t needed, which is a large percentage of the time).
Reading the April edition of Review of Optometry, Dr. Laine Higa’s overview of steroids and anti-inflammatory eye drops really stood out, and we were thrilled to sit down with him on the podcast to talk through his prescribing habits and how he navigates the real-world scenarios that doctors have to be versed in (including discussing costs of medications). For example, branded Pred Forte costs on average $140 for a 5 mL bottle so the chances of getting this filled at a pharmacy over generic options isn’t in your favor. Check out his full article for a very enjoyable read into the mechanism and action of steroidal medications.