Eyes wide open

Optometrists ‘extremely excited’ to partner in new Northshore Town Center business

Partners, Dr. Susan Carter, center with scissors, alongside Dr. Lacey Puckett joined family members who included, front row starting second from left, Anna Shugart holding Carter’s son, Edison; Carter’s husband, Ridge Carter, holding daughter Evelyn; and Puckett’s children in front, Kennedy and Jackson. Many Chamber members and other supporters also celebrated.
Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new business and Chamber member, Eyes on Northshore, with a ribbon cutting at the practice, 2053 Thunderhead Road, in Northshore Town Center Tuesday, March 3.

“It’s our honor to be here for Eyes on Northshore,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock said.

Optometrists Dr. Lacey Puckett and Dr. Susan Carter recently opened Eyes on Northshore, a private practice offering comprehensive eye exams and specialized vision services, including specialty contact lens fittings, myopia control and dry eye evaluations.

“Vision Academy of Knoxville, our vision therapy office (located adjacent to Eyes on Northshore), offers vision therapy, visual neurorehabilitation and sports vision performance training,” Puckett said.

“We are extremely excited that you are here to help us open our new business,” she added. “We specialize in a variety of eyecare screenings, all the way from infants to everyone who needs eye health exams.”

Puckett said the practice provides such specialty contact lenses as bifocal and made-to-order lenses.

“There are certain eye diseases that need special contact lenses, so we provide and fit those,” she said.

“We monitor all eye diseases and have lots of technology to help treat glaucoma, macular degeneration and things like that, so we can provide a full range of eyecare,” Puckett added.

Carter specializes in pediatric eye exams, starting at 6 months old.

“We also do vision therapy to help with things like lazy eye or problems with reading, sports vision and visual-neuro rehabilitation after someone has suffered a stroke or a concussion,” she said.

“I’m getting to see some of my patients from my former location,” Puckett said.

In addition, “The community here is wonderful,” she added.

“I dreamt of having my own private practice in optometry school and am elated to see it come to life,” Carter said.

The merging of the two optometrists was a synergy of events through an attorney, who separately helped the two with their practices.

Puckett was in practice for 14 years, 12 of which was in East Town Mall before the mall officially shut its doors Jan. 31.

“They officially made the announcement (of the closure) on Halloween,” she said and laughed. “So, here we were in our Halloween costumes and news crews coming in and out.”

At the same time, Carter, who has been in practice for almost five years in the Knoxville and Maryville areas, had a dream of opening her own practice.

“(Carter) had already picked the location here,” Puckett said. “(The attorney) kind of pushed for both of us to get together.

“Susan and I met and everything just clicked,” Puckett said. “I loved her from the moment I met her… our goals in life were very similar, and our goals in business were very similar.”

Both wanted a balance between their practice and their families, Puckett said.

“It was perfect timing; it was an answer to our prayers,” she said about their partnership.

Each brings to the table her own areas of expertise to the business. Carter specializes in infants, children and vision therapy.

“The (American Optometric Association) recommends children receive their first eye exam at age 6 months, (then) at age 3, and again by first grade,” she said. “Vision screenings are not equivalent to comprehensive eye exams with an eye doctor.

“Dr. Susan loves working with children and patients with special needs,” Carter said. “Even if a child (or adult) cannot speak, (she) is able to determine if he/she may need glasses in about 30 to 60 seconds with a special technique called retinoscopy.”

Meanwhile, Puckett’s focus is on eye diseases, such as dry eye.

“We’re going to start a dry eye spa,” she said.

They also provide functional prescription designs in correlation with occupations.

”Each occupation has its own unique vision requirements, so with patients who have computers that are at eye level or above eye level, you can design prescriptions to work for them specifically,” Puckett said.

Carter opened the office on Dec. 3, and Puckett, after finishing her contractual obligations at her previous practice, joined Carter on Feb. 3.

While hours may change, currently the office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday; from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., Fridays; from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays; and closed Sundays.

To book an appointment, call 865-288-4449 or visit their website at eyesonnorthshore.com