Dr. Millicent Knight is Senior Vice President, Customer Development Group, Essilor of America. Her team is responsible for Eye Care Professional education, sales force training, professional relations, and she represents the voice of the doctor as a member of the Senior Management Team.
She has a diverse and extensive background in the eyecare industry, including hospital-based ophthalmology/optometry with hospital privileges, owner of two optometric practices, and a former member of Vision Source. Prior to Essilor, she was Vice President of Professional Affairs, North America at Johnson & Johnson Vision, Inc.
Dr. Knight holds a Doctor of Optometry degree, and two Bachelor of Science degrees. Dr. Knight is a Fellow in the American Academy of Optometry, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Regenerative Medicine, The National Academies of Practice, and a Kellogg Leadership Fellow.
- What are some common symptoms that you hear from patients with Ocular Surface Disease or Dry Eye during the discovery phase of their exam? Dryness, redness, and irritation at varying levels, but always some level of awareness.
- What percentage of patients in your practice are interested in reducing fine lines or preventing signs of aging? I would say almost 90%. This is a prevalent issue for most patients, and when you consider the fact that as we age, we become more susceptible to the affects of dry eye, it’s no wonder the two concerns go hand in hand.
- What percentage of those patient suffer from Ocular Surface Disease or Symptoms associated with Dry Eye? The percentage is also high, maybe as high as 70%. Even if a patient comes in with the notion that they may be suffering from another ocular infliction, it is entirely possible that OSD or Dry Eye is the root cause.
- What are some of the side-effects a Dry Eye candidate can expect from using current trending skincare products; i.e. ones that are not developed with ocular health in mind? Incremental irritation and dryness. As ECPs (eye care professionals) we have to be mindful that the products we apply topically to our face can have a very negative impact on ocular health. It’s for this reason that Oculaire has been a real benefit to the ECP community, seeing that it addresses the issues we so often see in our practice - OSD, Dry Eye, etc. - while supporting the desire for anti-aging benefits in a healthful way.
- Do you see a correlation between patients with OSD / Dry Eye who are using skincare or beauty products that are inherent with prostaglandins? If I can give an antidote: One patient using a prostaglandin for glaucoma experienced significant OSD with conjunctival hyperemia. The eye redness was noted by her employer, who thought she might be drinking! I changed her to what was Doctor’s Optimal Formula’s glaucoma support and a preservative-free glaucoma agent. The redness and irritation subsided and her job was no longer in jeopardy!
- What anti-aging skincare products can you safely recommended to your patients who are looking to combat aging without sacrificing the Ocular Surface and its delicate Tear Film? I have recommended using a small amount of organic virgin coconut oil and aloe vera. But thanks to the release of Oculaire onto the market, I now recommend a daily regimen of Soleil, Radience, Lune, and Perle or other Omega 3’s and evening primrose.
- What are some key phrases you use to communicate a treatment plan for OSD or Dry Eye that encompasses skincare? I try to stress the anti-aging or healthy aging skin care regimens that may most benefit the skin and the eyes; it’s that simple. Sure, there are many products that may do one or the other well, but in my experience I find Oculaire has in its design and formulation the best ability to address the various concerns that arise from patients. Because it was developed by Eye Care Professionals, Oculaire really has the ability to address ocular health, while being confident that the potentially harmful ingredients found in other products - prostaglandins, parabens, preservatives, fragrances, etc. - will not worsen any underlining issues.
- How do you help prepare you staff to reinforce your recommended treatment plan for something that is non-surgical or immediately threatening to the patient’s ability to see? A training program for both doctor and staff over a lunch meeting or other time that allows for both doctor and staff to participate together. The other way is to provide an opportunity for the staff to experience why you prescribe your product recommendations. Lastly, identify a “practice champion”, who is well trained on the products, and would be the go-to person to enthusiastically continue the discussion, and ensure that the patient follows through with the recommendation.
- Can you comment on the importance and vital need in the eye care space for a product like Oculaire? OD’s and OMD’s as eye care professionals can bring a unique perspective compared to other medical or allied health professionals who may not have the experience of addressing OSD, lid margins, dry eye disease and sequelae.