Optimel Manuka Honey Q&A

Featuring Dr Keyur Patel, Doctor of Optometry & Clinical Director at TKS

Tell us a bit more about Tompkins, Knight & Son Optometrists?

 Originally formed in 1868, TK&S is widely recognised as one of the leading practices in the UK with a reputation for innovation and contact lens excellence. Our award-winning team of optometrists and dispensing opticians give patients the best possible care, with up-to-the-minute treatments from around the world.

How did you hear about Optimel/manuka honey treatment?

 TK&S director Brian Tompkins has many eye care friends in New Zealand and Australia who he had spoken to about the benefits of manuka honey treatment to their patients. I had read a number of articles about manuka honey being used for wound healing and its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, so we got our heads together and looked into ways of bringing it over to the UK.

 Why Optimel?

 As a contact lens centre of excellence, we have naturally become a big dry eye practice as well. We want to ensure our contact lens patients are able to wear their lenses for as long as possible and reduce dropout. We like to be able to start management with OTC treatments and Optimel was the only manuka-based eyedrop available. By reducing the amount of inflammatory markers on the ocular surface, the eye is less irritated and prone to dryness with Optimel, therefore patients will have far better tolerance to contact lenses. 

When do you use it?

It will be recommended to any patient who is reporting or showing signs of dryness/irritation or allergy. Before we started using Optimel patients would be looking at having to take prescribed medication such as steroids if lubrication didn’t reduce the inflammation. That obviously comes with the risk of potentially significant side effects so being able to offer Optimel is a far better solution. We have had patients who simply could not shift the irritation but then Optimel has done the trick and made a huge difference to their daily lives.

Any advice?

I always make sure that I warn patients it will sting for about 10 seconds. I ask them to close their eyes than put in the drop rub any spillage into the lashes. The stinging never gets better, but for the short period of annoyance the eyes will feel much better. I’d say give it a go. Most of the team in our practice swear by it.

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