Renovations cause for celebration

The Eye Group ribbon cutting signals new chapter for local business

Optometrists Dr. Joseph Manning, left, and Dr. Dorian Lain, second from left, who started The Eye Group in 1992, have added three more optometrists to the group. From left are Dr. Randy Dutton, Dr. Kevin Cross and Dr. Harrison Amburn.
Growth for The Eye Group led to a renovation last fall.

“I think we’re done,” Dr. Dorian Lain, a founding optometrist with The Eye Group, said and laughed.

Now, The Eye Group staff is ready to celebrate with a ribbon cutting, hosted by Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, beginning at 11 a.m., Monday, June 17, at its office in The Essex Group shopping center, 11124 Kingston Pike, Suite 127.

“I’m excited,” Lain said. “When we renovated, we not only got two new doctors and lots of new staff, we got a lot of new equipment, too.

“We’ve expanded from about 4,300 square feet to just shy of 6,000 square feet,” he added.

Additionally, the space allowed for three more exam rooms and a larger optical space, “which is one of the nicest opticals in Town,” Lain said.

“Even the door has been moved over about 10 feet,” he added. “We made the door larger to accommodate our patients, some of whom are in wheelchairs.”

The renovations started in August and were completed in October, with the office re-opening in mid-September.

”There were a few extra things — more decorative,” he said, adding, “It’s been a bit of a learning curve adapting to all that, and then we had to schedule the ribbon cutting.”

The Eye Group is a private practice with five optometrists and two locations — Kingston Pike and Chapman Highway.

“Dr. (Joseph) Manning and I opened it up in 1992 — that was 27 years ago,” Lain said. “We were in the site of the old Bi-Lo grocery store (now housing Perceptics) for 14 years. Then, 13 years ago, we moved to this space.

“We started with one employee back in 1992, and now we have over 20 employees,” he added. “We expanded because we were growing. Our patients were having a hard time coming in to see us, and we wanted to make sure we were serving them well.

Focusing on their patients, “We try to make things easy for them,” Lain said.

“We make sure they are well taken care of, and we’ve always chosen a location that is easy to find,” he added. “We always try to make it easy for them to get an appointment and make sure their experience in our office goes smoothly.”

The growth in number of patients also meant a need for more optometrists, so Dr. Randy Dutton, Dr. Harrison Amburn and Dr. Kevin Cross have come on board.

“(Cross) and I went to school together,” Lain said. “He’s got a great reputation, brought a lot of patients with him.”

The optometrists provide primary eye care, which not only involves comprehensive exams — including tests for glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts — they also care for minor eye injuries or diseases such as red eye.

“Basically that means if anything’s wrong with your eyes, you show up at our office first,” he said. “Then, if you need glasses or contact lenses we address that.”

The office also has its own lens lab with seven opticians, so it can make its own lenses, saving time for patients.

The office’s growth also meant purchasing new equipment, such as pre-testing equipment, one of the newest Optomap instruments to examine patients without having to dilate their pupils, and an OCT to test for glaucoma and macular problems.

“We’ve always embraced technology, and whatever equipment is out there we tend to have sooner than most offices would,” Lain said.

The expansion also allowed The Eye Group to add many new lines of eyeglasses, such as Tiffany; Mauijin, which now has frames for both sunglasses and prescription eyeglasses; David Green; and blue tech lenses.

“People are on computers a lot these days,” Lain said. “Blue tech lenses block the high-energy light that comes off the computer screen.”

The Eye Group is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays and Fridays; from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Wednesdays; from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursdays; from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays; and closed on Sundays.

To book an appointment, call 865-966-2020.