REAL DOCTORS. REAL STORIES.
Do you have an experience with ABB you would like to share? Tell us about it!
Here are just a few examples of what our customers are saying. Share your story with us by sending an email to CLlorens@abboptical.com. We can't wait to hear from you!
Erin Stiles, manager and optician at Vizio Optic, oversees this friendly, high-end optical in the Brookline area of Boston, Massachusetts. As lenses are a key part of the equation, Stiles often turns to David Utnick, her lab account advisor at ABB Labs, formerly DIGITAL EYE LAB Network, to ensure that each patient’s vision issues and lifestyle are taken into account to identify the perfect lens.
"My conversation usually begins with ‘Tell me a little bit about your patient,’" says Utnick, who grew up in the optical business. "My parents, uncle and grandfather are all in the industry, and that has given me unique perspective that comes directly from patient interactions," he says. "I joke that I’m in my early 30s, with about 20+ years of optical experience."
That experience has not gone unnoticed. "ABB Labs is invested in the patient, and the representatives relate to me. They listen and recommend a solution, and they are willing to help solve the problems," Stiles says.
Going above and beyond for customers means listening intently and paying attention to the nuance of a person’s situation. Stiles recalls a customer who was experiencing sensitivity from the bright lights of an ice rink, an environment where she spent countless hours as a "hockey mom." Stiles turned to Utnick for his insights, and his personal experience came into play. He recommended the Autograph Attitude 3 Sport because the patient’s frame had a lot of wrap to it. This lens design provides wide and distortion- free far vision; increased peripheral vision and a specific corridor tailored for the intermediate, known as the safety zone.
As digitally surfaced lens options expand, eye care professionals will need to take advanced measurements to allow customization for the patient based on the position of wear, frame size, type and prescription. Knowing how the customer will be using that lens is important, too. For instance, while "digital eye fatigue" sounds like a catch-all description, there are several lens options to address this. "A patient who works as a computer programmer needs a different lens than someone looking for protection from blue light while occasionally reading on a tablet," says Utnick.
Stiles also appreciates the education that the ABB Labs team brings about new technology or new lens designs. She has come to trust those recommendations, noting, "I have gone out on a limb and changed someone’s lenses because I feel comfortable and confident in the new products that ABB Labs recommends." Similarly, she has come to trust their responsiveness, she says. ABB Labs representatives "don’t over-promise, but they’ll do everything they can to serve the customer," she says. "I really appreciate that."
Compared with other lab representatives she has worked with in the past, where the interactions felt "robotic" and lacked a personal touch, the relationship between Vizio Optic and ABB Labs team is great. "Everyone is friendly, and it feels like we all know each other," Stiles says. Customers recognize the camaraderie that results. Vizio Optic has received the Best of Boston consumer choice award for eyeglasses and sunglasses retailer for eight years in a row.
Working well together—and with key vendors who help the business deliver quality eyewear—is an important part of its success.
"I had a patient who struggled with pellucid marginal degeneration, a degenerative corneal condition, in both eyes. The patient, in his 20s, had only been able to improve his vision to 20/40 with glasses. His experience with contact lenses had at first been frustrating, with adaptation and comfort issues during various GP lens trials."
"The patient arrived at my office for a second opinion consult, as he was determined to find a lens that fit. My first thought after speaking with the patient and reviewing his records was to call Jim Slightom with ABB OPTICAL GROUP's Specialty Lens Consultant team. I had previously worked with the team on different occasions to find lenses to fit the unique needs of some of my patients."
"Jim provided me with a trial pair of custom, made-to-order soft toric lenses, and the patient was thrilled with the results, as was I! The fit and comfort level were outstanding, and with these custom lenses, the patient now has 20/25 vision. It was an absolute win for the patient."
"Helping my patients see and improve their quality of life is why I do what I do. I know that when I have patients who present with a particularly challenging lens fitting, I can rely on ABB OPTICAL's specialty lens consulting experts. Their team will work with you until they find the right solution, making them a valued practice partner for us here at Greenbush Eye Center. Thank you, Jim and team!"
Laurie Runnerstrom, O.D.
Greenbush Eye Center, East Greenbush, New York
"At our fitting lab, we had a young female in her early 20s who was best corrected with eyeglasses to CF (count fingers) @ 10 feet. We got her seeing 20/20 out of both eyes in scleral lenses. She was able to go back to work and get off disability. She got very emotional when she realized that she had her sight and ultimately her life back."
"Sometimes, my patients are so severe that the lenses in the fitting sets do not vault the cornea. In my opinion, that's when ABB OPTICAL GROUP consultants shine. They literally customize every single parameter in the ICD Flex scleral and do it effortlessly. They rival expect doctor fitters, can interpret my crazy descriptions of poor fitting lenses and provide exceptional customer service."
Katie L. Brown, O.D.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department of Ophthalmology
"We had a patient, a 40 year old man that when he first came to us in 2013 his best corrected vision was 20/400 in the right and 20/150 in the left. He had 3 transplants in the right and 2 in the left. He also tried RGP lenses in the right eye before but they would never stay in and were very uncomfortable, so he wouldn't wear the lens. As a result of these challenges, the patient ended up on disability and living with his mom because his vision just wasn't adequate enough for everyday life."
"In 2017 he came to Country Hills Eye Center again because the graft in his left eye was failing and he ended up with another transplant. Unfortunately a few months later he ended up with some retina problems and other trauma to the left which rendered that eye blind. Now the patient was totally dependent on others to help him on a daily basis, to the point where he even had to have someone help him shave because he couldn't even see his face. Leaving the house without assistance was impossible."
"When he was brought to my contact lens department, his OPD reading for the right eye was -31.75 +25.25 x 138. I tried on one of my diagnostic ICD Scleral lenses that have Toric PC's, a -12.75. When he looked up after I inserted the lens he looked into the mirror and started to cry. This made both his mom and me cry too. He said he could see his face, and to lighten the mood, he said he sure was ugly. I checked his vision with the diagnostic lens on and he was seeing 20/40. He was so excited that I taught him how to take that lens out and reinsert it so he could take that diagnostic lens home with him that day. "
"When he came back for his follow up to try the lens designed with the help from my ABB OPTICAL GROUP specialty consultant, he was seeing 20/25. He told me how he just couldn't get enough of the outdoors now and that he could see flowers, animals and finally people's faces when they were talking to him. He told me he was looking forward to taking a driver's test to get his license again. To get a job and to move out on his own, these were all possible now. He told me I gave him is life back and that the best thing he ever did was coming over to see me in the contact department. Before he left I got a great big hug."
"Every night when I get home from work my husband will ask me how my day was, today I was able to say "Oh I created a miracle and changed a life."
Contact Lens Dept. Supervisor
Country Hills Eye Center
"ABB OPTICAL GROUP Wet Labs are a great way to introduce or to further your education on scleral lenses. Their lecturers have years of experience in fitting specialty lenses and there is also plenty of time after the lecture for discussion and experiencing the lenses hands on."
"After the good fortune of having a local corneal specialist start referring patients to my practice for specialty lenses, ABB OPTICAL has been my go to specialty lab. Having fit sets in the office such as the ICD Flexfit scleral, Kerasoft IC and 2 different keratoconic sets have made the increase in fitting specialty lenses a smooth transition for my practice. Their fitting consultants are always available to answer my questions."
"Many of my patients have experienced an improvement of their quality of life as a result of specialty lenses. For example, a nurse that had keratoconus and a BVA of 20/100 and 20/50 with glasses was correctable to 20/20 OU with ICD Flex scleral lenses. She commented on how she could now see scratches on her phone that she didn't notice before, and joked that she was worried about how dirty her house might actually be now that she could see everything. Also, she told me she noticed her friend's freckles for the very first time. After practicing for 31 years, fitting specialty lenses has been extremely rewarding for me."
Donna Shotwell, O.D. P.A
A member of Vision Source
"A troubled teenage girl was sent to live in a group home after experiencing continued issues at various schools. While at this group home one of the social workers noticed that she would get really close to things to see and she would continually act out in the classroom. When asked if she could see the board, the girl stated she could not. That's when the social worker brought her to our practice."
"On her initial visit her manifest refraction was OD -18.75 +11.25 x 101 and OS -14.00 +9.00 x 174 and with that it only corrected her to 20/150. She was also diagnosed with Unstable Keratoconus bilateral, with K readings of 51.75/63.25 OD and 44.75/48.75 OS."
"The counselors of the school/home that she was living at went ahead and paid for the fitting and the scleral contacts for her."
"With her first pair of ICD scleral lenses with toric PC's she was able to see 20/40 OU. She was beyond excited to be able to see. The counselor couldn't hold back her tears when the patient exclaimed that she could see her face for the first time and that she never wanted to take the lenses out. At the follow up appointment the patient told me how beautiful our mountains are and that she didn't realize trees had individual leaves on them. The counselor informed me that the girl is a different person now in class, and that she wants to see everything and get involved with all the extra activities they have at the school. Since then I have changed the lenses slightly and she is seeing 20/30 OU and is doing great. It's unfortunate that someone didn't take the time earlier in her life to take her to the eye doctor."
"What a difference it makes in life when you can see it."
Contact Lens Dept. Supervisor
Country Hills Eye Center
"Thank you for all your help with my patient. He says "I've never seen as clearly as I have with these contact lenses -- including any glasses I've ever had." These are the cases that make GP lenses rewarding for me."
Ryan Losh, O.D.
Losh Optometry LLC